10 Of The Best 4k Blu ray Movies Currently On The Market

10 Of The Best 4k Blu ray Movies Currently On The Market

Movies are a great way to leave our every day worries behind. They entertain us, move us, make us laugh, and give us a brief respite from the stresses of life. Some of them make such an impression on us that we can watch them repeatedly with as much joy and interest as the first time we saw them.


Movies strike an emotional cord, which is why so many people have truly impressive movie libraries. As time progresses, we have to periodically update our collections because of technological advances. VHS cassettes had to be replaced with DVDs. Those, in turn, are being replaced with Blu-ray discs. Some, too, have decided to have a digital library instead of having physical copies of their favorite films. These days, there’s a new way to watch movies: 4k Blu-ray movies. The best thing about this new way to watch movies is that not only do you get exceptional visual and audio quality, but all of your old favorites are available in this format. In fact, you may find at least one of your favorites on our list of the best 4k Blu-ray movies.

How Did We Compile Our Best of 4k Blu-ray Movies List?

Our list of the best 4k Blu-ray movies consists of some all-time classics, as well as some recent box-office hits. Since watching a film is such a personal experience, it’s sometimes hard to choose based on online reviews alone. Choosing a film is sometimes way more complicated than choosing the best 4k TV or which audio system to invest in. Those are tangible things that are easy to say “they’re great” or “they’re horrible.” Movies are different, though. Even the worst movies ever made have cult followings. 


There was just something about them that struck a chord with particular members of the movie-going audience. Conversely, there are classic films that multitudes of people love that are still detested by a certain percentage of the population. The way we react to a movie is definitely based on the creativity, writing, directing, acting, special effects, lighting, costumes, and music. But it’s also based on emotion, and we all react to things differently. One person’s sense of humor may make some people laugh, but not everyone.


Therefore, when it came to choosing the best 4k Blu-ray movies, we went off of these criteria:


  • Popularity of the film – If it’s a true classic, we’re going to add it to the list because most people will probably enjoy it.
  • The special effects – If a film already has amazing special effects – like all of the Marvel superhero movies – we’re going to recommend making the 4k disc investment. The experience will be even more amazing in 4k.
  • The colors in the film – Films that are very colorful – like animated films or beautifully artistic films like Amélie – should be seen in all their colorful glory.

The Top 10 – Our Picks for the Best 4k Blu-ray Movies on the Market

Based on our criteria, here’s our list of the top 10 best 4k Blu-ray movies to date.

1. Jurassic Park – 25th Anniversary Edition (original release date 1993)

Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection best 4k blu ray movies

You can’t go wrong with a classic like this one. Though the special effects are dated, they still look fantastic. And no matter how many times you’ve watched the original film in the Jurassic Park franchise, there are still going to be parts that make you hold your breath in anticipation and jump. And that’s especially the case with the 4k edition. With crisper images, the scene with the raptors in the kitchen will freak you out more than ever before!


Wonder Woman 2017 UHD best 4k blu ray movies

This action packed, female power gem is one of our top picks for the best 4k film of the past year. The storyline is great. The special effects are out of this world. And the colors are beyond amazing. With every scene, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported and like you’re fighting right alongside Princess Diana.

Wonder Woman (2017) (UHD/BD) [Blu-ray]
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes...
  • WarnerBrothers (09/19/2017)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
PLanet Earth best 4k blu ray movies

Yes, even documentaries are better in high def. This film garnered a lot of attention back in 2016 for its ambition. While watching this film, you’re experiencing the world from the viewpoint of all of the animals. The lush landscapes pop with the 4k colors, making you want to book a vacation to the exotic locations portrayed in the film.

Planet Earth II [4K]
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to work properly. The product will have minor blemishes and/or light...
  • BBC Home Entertainment (03/28/2017)
  • Blu-ray, NR (Not Rated)
Lego best 4k blu ray movies

It’s rare when you find a movie that will entertain both kids and adults, but this movie is one that accomplishes that feat. Most people have played with a LEGO set at one time or another, so the idea that the characters finally get to come to life is really exciting. Like most animated films, this one is very colorful and action packed. Thanks to the quality of the 4k, the bright, vivid colors and fun storyline will keep your kids attention through the entire movie.

Sale
The Lego Movie (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD)
  • WarnerBrothers (03/01/2016)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman
Hacksaw Ridge best 4k blu ray movies

This is one of the poignant films of 2016 about a conscientious objector who served as a medic in WWII. Though he wasn’t willing to kill, he still went out onto the battlefield with his countrymen. In the process, he was able to save 75 of them. The film is a dynamic portrayal of the human spirit and personal/spiritual beliefs. Watching that kind of bravery portrayed on screen is wonderful in high definition. With the crisp quality and amazing sound effects and editing, you feel like you’re right there on the battlefield with Captain Oliver and Doss, the courageous yet brave objector.

Justice League best 4k blu ray movies

Just about every superhero movie ever made has been atop the list of multiple “best of 4k” lists that we found online. And it’s no wonder. These movies are full of action, comedy, and drama. They’re the full package. Though these movies don’t typically take home Academy Awards for best acting, script, or directing, they do often get nominated for best editing, costumes/makeup, and special effects. 


That’s why you need to start watching them in 4k. The effects are so cool – they take these superhero movies to a whole other level. And Justice League is at the top of the list because of the epic characters (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc.), the locations of their battles, and the “how are they going to get out of this” type of scenarios.

Justice League (2017) (4K UHD) [Blu-ray]
  • Justice League - 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital Brand New
  • WarnerBrothers (03/13/2018)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Kingsman best 4k blu ray movies

Apparently, it does because now the world has two Kingsman movies. In this second installment, the Kingsman headquarters are destroyed. Not only that, the world is being held hostage. British and U.S. secret spy organizations have to come together to defeat their enemy. This film is fun, fast-paced, and humorous. We recommend watching the high definition 4k Blu-ray with your surround sound on. You’ll feel like you’re definitely a part of all the spy adventures.

Sale
Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle [Blu-ray]
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
  • 20th Century Fox (12/12/2017)
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)
Labyrinth best 4k blu ray movies

This is a favorite among many because of the collaboration of the talents of Jim Henson and David Bowie. This Fantasy Adventure also stars a young Jennifer Connelly who has to make her way through a labyrinth with strange creatures – including Bowie’s Goblin King. She wished that her younger brother would be taken by the Goblin King and he is. Now she has to search for him. This was a fun, strange, adventurous childhood movie for many. You’ll love reliving your memories and introducing younger generations to this exciting film – especially in high-quality 4k.

Sale
Labyrinth (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + UltraViolet)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (09/20/2016)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Running time: 101 minutes
murder on the orient best 4k blu ray movies

This Agatha Christie classic has been made multiple times, in some cases showcasing the talents of an all-star cast. It’s no different with this 2017 version, starring Kenneth Branagh as Detective Poirot, along with Leslie Odom, Jr., Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Williem Dafoe. What makes this version a must-see on a 4k disk? According to MSN, the 4k experience makes the costumes and makeup look absolutely exquisite. You see every line in the character’s faces, every whisker in Poirot’s incredible mustache. The producers of the film used a rich color palette for this film, and you get to see every bold or subtle color clearly and as intended when you watch this movie in 4k.

Murder On The Orient Express [Blu-ray]
  • 20th Century Fox (02/27/2018)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Running time: 114 minutes
The Swallows

If you’re a fan of shark movies, you need to check out The Shallows on 4k Blu-ray disk. This film stars Blake Lively as a woman mourning the death of her mother, who decides to go surfing where her mother used to surf. While surfing alone, Lively’s character is attacked by a great white shark, who is out for blood. Lively is able to make it safely to a rock in the middle of the water, but the shark continues to circle around her. Will she make it safely to shore? You’ll have to see what happens, but we can guarantee you that your viewing experience will be way more intense when you watch The Shallows in 4k. The crystal clear, turquoise waters are gorgeous. You can make out every detail including the glistening ocean waves, the rocks under the sea, even the pores on Lively’s sand-caked face.

Sale
The Shallows [Blu-ray]
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (09/27/2016)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Running time: 86 minutes

Buyers’ Guide: How to Pick Movies to Add to Your Blu-ray Collection

The great thing about 4k Blu-rays is that you don’t have to replace your entire movie library. Some movies are perfectly enjoyable via streaming or on DVD. So, how do you choose which movies are the best 4k Blu-ray movies to invest in? That’s really up to you. You can choose to slowly replace all of your DVDs over time. Or, you can keep all of your old DVDs and simply make all of your future purchases 4k discs.


Another option is to replace only those DVDs that you know will benefit from an upgrade. For instance, all of your Fantasy or Action/Adventure films – they will be so much better seen on a 4k disc with the higher definition and increased depth of color. Normally, when recommending how to choose your entertainment, we would tell you to read the online reviews and pay attention to what your friends and family say. But when it comes to the best 4k Blu-ray movies, the choice really is up to you. What movies do you love? What films are you willing to invest in again? This choice is all about personal preferences!

Will You Get on the 4k Blu-ray Movie Bandwagon?

Should you really invest in 4k Blu-ray movies? Granted, your favorite movies can be seen digitally via platforms like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, and you still have the option to buy them on DVD or Blu-ray. 


What makes 4k Blu-ray better than all the rest? According to CNet.com, 4k Blu-ray discs will “deliver the best home video picture quality you can buy.” How so? It’s because these discs are the ultimate in high definition. While you can stream in 4k from Netflix and Amazon, the actual discs offer an even better experience. The color and resolution are better than anything else out there. Plus, when you buy 4k Blu-ray discs, you can actually save money. That almost seems counterintuitive, seeing that the latest and greatest of nearly everything typically costs more.


However, renting or buying the streaming version of 4k Blu-ray can actually be more expensive than buying the discs. And the quality of the discs is better than what you can get from streaming. Another great thing about these discs is that you don’t have to replace your entire DVD or Blu-ray collection. All formats can be played on a 4k Blu-ray player, which means you can save even more money by keeping your current movie collection. You can be sure that when you buy the best 4k Blu-ray movies you’ll be making one of the best investments toward a thoroughly enjoyable movie-watching experience.


Buyer’s Guide To Picking The Best 4K TV Under 1000

Buyer’s Guide To Picking The Best 4K TV Under 1000

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4k or “Ultra HD” televisions are all the rage these days. Just in case you are not familiar with these televisions, they are televisions with a resolution that is even better than high definition (HD) resolution. What this means, in technical terms, is that 4k TVs have more pixels than other televisions on the market, which translates to higher picture quality.


When these televisions first came out, they were extremely expensive, and really only the very rich tended to own them. Nowadays, however, these televisions are a lot more common and a lot cheaper. This means that you can get a great television for under $1000.


If you’re currently looking for the best 4k TV under 1000, don’t worry. We know all about televisions and can help you to find the perfect one to match both your needs and your budget.

How We Choose Our Ratings

Our opinion on the best 4k TV under 1000 is based on lots of time, effort, and research. We want you to know that we don’t just give out our opinions lightly. We want to be a source you can trust, which is why we put honesty and accuracy above all else and really work hard to make our ratings the most reliable you’ll find anywhere.


We look at all kinds of different factors when coming up with our ratings. To start with, we look at ratings and reviews from real customers just like you. We also look at things like sales data, brand history and reputation, and more. By looking at and comparing all of this information, we feel confident that our ratings are the most trustworthy out there.


Plus, our ratings and opinions are not designed to sway you in any particular way or to get you to buy a particular product. For this reason, you can trust them to be real and honest on ever count.


So, now that you know we work, let’s not wait another minute to reveal our picks for the best 4k TV under 1000 options.

Top 5 Best 4k TVs Under 1000

5. Sony XBR49X800E 49 inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

SONY XBR49X800E 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Yes, we know that name is quite a mouthful, but the television is worth saying the name a few times fast.


We love that this super affordable television is also a smart TV. Of course, that’s the case with most models on the market today, but this one has access to tons of great media, such as Netflix, already built in. We also really appreciate the awesome picture quality and the Triluminos feature, as well as Sony’s patented Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, which makes the colors onscreen really pop. This TV doesn’t have a lot of fancy features other than the ones mentioned, but the great picture quality makes it a solid choice.


Sony XBR49X800E 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 43 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 2 1/4 Inch, TV with stand: 43 1/4 x 27 1/4 x 10 Inch.
  • Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content using Sony's Android TV.

4. Sony XBR49X900E 49 inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Sony XRVR55x900E

This one is the XBR49X900E. Like our #5 pick, this television has wonderful picture quality. However, it also has a good contrast feature, nice brightness, and good motion handling. In fact, the only thing that kept it from ranking higher on our list is the fact that the viewing angle is a bit limited. The picture really only looks its true best when you’re facing it straight-on.


Sony XBR49X900E 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model), Works...
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 43.1" x 24.9" x 2.5", TV with stand: 43.1" x 27" x 9.4"
  • Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content using Sony's Android TV.

3. Vizio M65-EO

VIZIO

Not only is this television super affordable, but it is also quite a bit larger than most 4ks at this price. With a nice 65” screen, this is one of the best 4k TV under 1000 options you’ll find anywhere. We do think the picture quality could be improved somewhat, but it is definitely worth the price.


Sale
VIZIO M M65-F0 65" 2160p LED-LCD TV - 16:9-4K UHDTV
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes...

2. Samsung Electronics UN49MU8000

Samsung Electronics UN49MU8000 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

This isn’t the largest television on our list at only 49”. However, if a big screen isn’t super important to you, you should appreciate the great color quality and vibrancy this TV offers. We also love the included television stand. This stand allows you to more easily run your cords from the television to the outlet, making it a cinch to use.


Samsung Electronics UN49MU8000 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017...
  • An extreme step up in color with a billion more shades than regular 4K UHD. Inputs and Outputs - HDMI 4,USB 3,Ethernet...
  • See extreme contrast between the darkest darks and the lightest lights, plus expanded color and depth.
  • See what you've been missing, even in dark scenes.

1. Sony KD60X690E

Sony KD60X690E 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

It is the most affordable option on our list, and it’s perfect for the movie buff or gaming enthusiast. If you fall into either of these categories, you’ll love the fact that this television features great response time, no input lag, and killer sound quality. All in all, this is a great television for anyone who truly loves this media.


These are just five out of many great 4k televisions, proving that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to get an awesome television.


Sony KD60X690E 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 53.5" x 31" x 3.5", TV with stand: 53.5" x 32.9" x 12.2"
  • Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content. With YouTube and Netflix buttons built into the...
  • Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR) for the most lifelike...

How to Always Get a Great Deal on a TV

If you’re reading this article and taking our advice, there is a good chance that you are someone who sees the value in saving money. If that’s the case, don’t worry. There are many ways in which you can save money on your 4k TV and still get the best 4k TV under 1000 possible. To start off with, remember that it’s okay to opt for a smaller size television. More often than not, the size of your TV isn’t going to affect your viewing experience all that much. Plus, you’d be surprised at how quickly you get used to the size of your television, no matter what size that happens to be. Plus, if you find that you really can’t stand having a television that’s small, you can always upgrade later.


Also, make sure you are shopping the sales whenever possible. Big retailers like Wal-Mart are always having deals on televisions and other electronics. It may take a bit more effort and a lot more shopping around, but if you’re willing to put in the time, you can end up saving a lot of money. Remember, too, that some stores offer “price matching,” so you might be able to get a television at a steal even lower than your favorite retailer is offering. 


If you’re really trying to pinch pennies, you should carefully look over television options for any rebates that might be offered. Sometimes, companies will offer a mail-in rebate or even an online rebate as long as you complete some simple step. So, by doing something small like registering your television online or completing a customer survey, you can often get some cash back on your purchase.


Remember, too, that you don’t always have to have the newest model of 4k television to be happy. You can often save a ton of money and still end up with an awesome television by choosing to go with last year’s model. Sure, it may not be the fanciest model out there, and it may be lacking a few special features, but it should still be a great television at a fraction of the cost of the newer model.


You can also save money by choosing to buy used. Yes, there is some risk in this since you probably won’t get a warranty or guarantee with your television, but you’ll save so much money it’s worth it. You can find used televisions online or from independent sellers. Just be careful you’re buying legal (i.e.) not stolen merchandise. Otherwise, your deal could turn out to be more of a “steal” than you bargained for. With all of these things you can do to save money on your television, there are still some things that you should NOT do. For example, try to avoid getting your television from a “rent to own” type of place. These stores will typically offer you a payment plan that allows you to get a great item without any down payment. And, while your monthly payment may be manageable, you’ll ultimately end up paying a lot more than what the television is worth.


The same thing goes for putting televisions on “Layaway.” Big stores will often offer layaway, especially around the holidays. With this option, you can make small payments on your television until you’ve got the whole thing paid off. And, while that may seem nice at first, you’ll still ultimately pay more due to layaway fees and down payments, some of which aren’t refundable if you can’t pay the item off. These convenience programs really aren’t as convenient as they might seem at first, so exercise caution.


As you can see, there are many ways to save money on your TV purchase, as well as a couple of things to avoid. By following these tips, though, you should be able to get a great deal on an even greater television.

Buyer’s Guide for Picking the Perfect Television

We have provided you with a lot of advice that will prove useful when shopping for a television. However, there is still more to know. For starters, make sure that you never go lower than a 4k resolution. We’ve touted the benefits enough that you shouldn’t want to. But, just in case you’re tempted by a great price, know that televisions with less than this resolution are quickly becoming dinosaurs. This means that if you buy a television with less resolution, it’s not likely to be compatible with new technology you may want to use. This could mean you end up with a television that you can’t get much use out of and that you’ll have to upgrade anyway, thereby costing you more money overall.


Also remember that you don’t typically need “extended warranties” or extra protection packages that are often offered by your retailer. These packages may sound great, but the truth is that they don’t really do much. Your purchase is protected by your receipt and by your credit card or debit card if you used it to purchase the item. If something goes wrong, you can get a refund, whether from the company or from your bank. Thus, there is really no reason to spring for the added “protection” at an added cost. You also shouldn’t pay extra for a television that is “curved.” Some sellers try to make curved televisions sound like the best thing since sliced bread. They’ll tell you that the curved design makes for a better viewing experience, but that’s really not true. Curved televisions don’t’ have any impact on viewing or quality. Some people just happen to like the way the design looks. If you’re one of those people, that’s fine. However, if you don’t really care, don’t be tricked into spending more on a curved model because you think it’ll give you a better picture quality .


When you buy a television, you should also think about how many devices you will be hooking up to it. Maybe you’re a gamer with several systems, a DVD player, and other devices that all need to be hooked up. It’s going to be a huge pain if you have to constantly switch items out, which is why it’s always best to find a television with as many HDMI ports as you need. For most people, this is at least four. However, consider your unique needs and then find a television that can match them.


Finally, make sure your television will actually fit your entertainment center, wall setup, and home in general. All too often, people end up with televisions that don’t work with their current setup. Then, they have to change the whole setup to accommodate the television, which results in them spending more money than they bargained for. To keep this from happening to you, carefully measure your wall mount or other system and then find a television with compatible dimensions. Obviously, there is a lot to think about and consider when shopping for the perfect television. However, if you can keep these things in mind, you should have a much easier time picking the perfect, modern TV to meet your needs. So, armed with these tips, happy shopping and, eventually, happy viewing!

20 Best Blu-ray Movies

20 Best Blu-ray Movies

There’s very few things in this world that are quite as nice as watching a good movie on a rainy (or snowy) day. If you’ve got fluffy slippers, a cuddly blanket and some nibbles, you’re all set to laugh, cry, empathize, or get angry with, your favorite film star.

To help you make a choice, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best Blu-ray movies to watch when the weather’s too awful to go outside.

COMPARISON TABLE

The Best Blu-ray Movies – Comedy

Sale
Sister Act: 20th Anniversary Edition - Two-Movie Collection...
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • TOUCHSTONE PICTURES (06/19/2012)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

In Sister Act, Whoopi Goldberg stars as a lounge singer who is on the run from the mob. She hides out in a convent and promptly livens up the choir by introducing the nuns to Motown.

In Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, our favorite singing nun spreads her Motown magic at an inner-city school. Both movies have been digitally restored and are multi-formatted.

  • Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Harvey Keitel
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: PG – Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: All Regions
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Price: $14.99
  • Review rating: 5 stars
The Mel Brooks Collection [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • 20th Century Fox (05/08/2012)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

You’re going to need more than one rainy day to get through this stunning collection. The full movies included on these discs are:

  • The Twelve Chairs
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Silent Movie
  • High Anxiety
  • History of the World – Part 1
  • To Be or Not to Be
  • Spaceballs
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights

If that’s not enough to keep you amused, they’ve added some special features: 7 featurettes ad 6 Blu-ray featurettes exclusive to Blu-ray, 4 trivia tracks, 5 score tracks, interviews, commentaries and Documentaries.

  • Cast: Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Cleavon Little, David Huddleston, Harvey Korman.
  • Number of discs: 9
  • Rated: PG – Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 868 minutes
  • Price: $27.27
  • Review rating: 5 stars
Sale
Scary Movie Triple Feature [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Miramax Lionsgate (12/06/2011)
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)

This 3-disc set allows you to relive your horror movie phase while acknowledging how silly those movies often are. The first (and best) 3 movies in the scary movie franchise are full of cameos and pop culture references.

  • Cast: Anna Faris, Tim Curry, Charlie Sheen, Carmen Electra, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans.
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: R – Restricted
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Price: $15.99
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Sale
Mamma Mia! The Movie [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (12/16/2008)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)

A daughter trying to find out which of her mother’s former lovers is her father may not seem like a good plot for a musical, but this cast manages to pull it off with class.

Don’t forget to check out the extra features: Outtakes, deleted scenes, the making of Mamma Mia, Bjorn Ulvaeus cameo, feature commentary with the director, Phyllida Lloyd

  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Amanda Seyfried.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 Parents strongly cautioned
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time:  minutes
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life - Zavvi Steelbook Blu-ray Movie
  • Steelbook
  • Blu-ray
  • The Snipped Bits: 7 Deleted Scenes

A list of the best Blu-ray movies would not be complete without at least one entry from the Monty Python team. This is their take on the age-old question, “What’s the meaning of life.” Full of skits and songs, this is the Monty Python comedians at their best.

The special features include a featurette with cast and Producer John Goldstone, and 7 deleted scenes.

  • Cast: Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not rated
  • Region: All regions
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Price: $29.99
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars

The Best Blu-ray Movies – Drama

Even if movies about the mafia are not your thing, you should watch these 2 movies at least once in your lifetime. Francis Ford Coppola brought together a fantastic cast which is why these are still two of the best loved classics.

  • Cast: Marlo Brando, Robert Duvall, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Abe Vigoda, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, James Caan
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R - Restricted
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 379 minutes
  • Price: $99.00
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
The X-Files Movie 2-Pack (Fight the Future / I Want to Believe)...
  • 20th Century Fox (12/02/2008)
  • Blu-ray, NR (Not Rated)
  • Running time: 226 minutes

This 2-pack includes the X-Files movies, Fight the Future and I want to Believe. Special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigate the cases that are deemed too unusual.

In Fight the Future, Scully and Mulder try to stop a deadly virus, that may or may not be alien in origin, from spreading.

In I want to Believe, an FBI agent is abducted, and Scully and Mulder are assigned to locate her.

  • Cast: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny.
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Not rated
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 226 minutes
  • Price: $52.99
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
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The Martian [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • 20th Century Fox (01/12/2016)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

Matt Damon puts in a brilliant performance as an astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars and must survive long enough to be rescued. At the same time, his former crew are plotting a rescue mission and the Scientists at NASA are also working a solution.

  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG – 13 Parents strongly cautioned
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Price: $4.99
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
J. Edgar (Movie-Only Edition + UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
  • Warner Home Video (02/21/2012)
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)
  • Leonardo Dicaprio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, Josh Lucas, Judi Dench

This is not the movie that Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar for, but it is an entertaining watch.

J Edgar is the story of the infamous J Edgar Hoover, who was head of the FBI for over 50 years. It promises to reveal many of Hoover’s secrets while telling the story of this fascinating man’s career.

  • Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, Josh Lucas
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R - Restricted
  • Region: All regions
  • Price: $10.45
  • Review rating: 4 stars
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Hostiles [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • LIONSGATE (04/24/2018)
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)

In 1892, an army captain escorts a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their home in Montana. They meet a young widow on the way who travels with them, a Comanche party and various other outlaws.

  • Cast: Christian Bale, Wes Studi, Rosamund Pike, Jesse Plemons, Adam Beach.
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R - Restricted
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Price: $14.99
  • Review rating: 4 stars

The Best Blu-ray Movies – Action/Adventure

This is the first of two appearances on our best Blu-ray movies list for Liam Neeson. If you know your mythological Gods these movies might question your memory, but they’ll still give you an action-packed afternoon.

  • Clash of the Titans (1981)
  • Clash of the Titans (2010)
  • Wrath of the Titans (2012)
  • Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: R - Restricted
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Price: $35.00
  • Review rating: 5 stars
Taken 3-Movie Collection [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • 20th Century Fox (02/07/2017)
  • Blu-ray, NR (Not Rated)

Bryan Mills really should consider rounding up everyone he knows and placing them inside an impenetrable fortress somewhere remote. This 3-disc collection has all the Taken movies and, of course, that speech.

  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Not rated
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Price: $9.99
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Quentin Tarantino: Ultimate Collection (Blu-ray) [Django Unchained,...
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)
  • Running time: 1087 minutes
  • English

This is a collection you watch after the children have gone to bed. Tarantino’s well known for the violence in his films but also his unique brand of humor. This set includes:

  • Django Unchained
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Death Proof
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
  • Jackie Brown
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Reservoir Dogs

After you’ve watched these, you might want to pick up The Hateful Eight.

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The Hateful Eight [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • The Weinstein Company (03/29/2016)
  • Blu-ray, R (Restricted)
  • Cast: Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Kurt Russell, Bruce Willis, Quentin Tarantino.
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: R - Restricted
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 1087 minutes
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Pirates of the Caribbean: 5-Movie Complete Collection [Blu-ray]...
  • Blu-ray, NR (Not Rated)
  • Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley
  • German, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Icelandic, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese

Johnny Depp had to make an appearance on our list of best Blu-ray movies to watch on a rainy day and his performance as a drunken pirate must be one of his best.


This set includes:

  • The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Dead Man’s Chest
  • At World’s End
  • On Stranger Tides
  • Salazar’s Revenge (Dead Men Tell No Tales)
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport.
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Not rated
  • Region: All regions
  • Price: $29.48
  • Review rating: 4 stars
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The Magnificent Seven [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (12/20/2016)
  • Blu-ray, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

Nothing beats a good cowboy movie and this version of The Magnificent Seven is one of the better ones. The residents of Rose Creek hire 7 outlaws in a bid to rescue their town from the control of the resident bad guy and industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue.

  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard, Chris Pratt.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG – 13 Parents strongly cautioned
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Price: $7.99
  • Review rating: 4 stars

The Best Blu-ray Movies – Family

Sale
Illumination Presents: 3-Movie Collection (Despicable Me / Despicable...
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (12/05/2017)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

The movie that started it all and its two sequels in one collection! Super-Villain Gru and his minions can’t help falling in love with three orphan girls while on their latest dastardly mission.

  • Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: PG Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 283 minutes
  • Price: $24.57
  • Review rating: 5 stars
  • Run Time: 283 minutes
Bee Movie [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (06/05/2018)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

The adventures of Barr B. Benson who goes off into the wide world and finds himself in trouble for breaking rule number 1 of Beedom: talking to a human. What follows is a lesson in how just one small bee can make a difference in the world.

Packed with special features this disc is going to entertain the little ones while teaching them as well.

  • Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, John Goodman, Patrick Warburton, Matthew Broderick.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Price: $9.96
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Minions (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD)
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (12/08/2015)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

It was only a matter of time before they got their own movie. It’s 1960 and the minions have lost their super-villain boss. Again. Kevin, Stuart, and Bob head off to the city to find a new one and meet Scarlet Overkill.

  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Chris Renaud, Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin.
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Price: $12.94
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
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Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition - (BD+DVD+DIGITAL HD)...
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Walt Disney Studios (09/20/2016)
  • Blu-ray, G (General Audience)

This is the delightful cartoon version from 1990. As wonderful as Emma Watson is, nothing can compare to the sheer beauty of this version especially for the younger children.

  • Cast: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, David Ogden Stiers, Richard White, Jerry Orbach.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G-General audience
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Price: $9.95
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars
Sale
Lego Batman Movie, The (2017) BD [Blu-ray]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • WarnerBrothers (06/13/2017)
  • Blu-ray, PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Lego Batman tries to save Gotham from the Joker, but he might have to learn how to play nice with others if he’s going to succeed this time.

  • Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera.
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG – Parental guidance suggested
  • Region: A/1 – North, Central, and South America, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Price: $14.00
  • Review rating: 4.5 stars

The Best Blu-ray Movies to Watch on a Sunny Day

Whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny day, our list of the best Blu-ray movies will keep you and your family nicely entertained. Just choose your genre and your favorite snack food and settle in for an exciting few hours.

Dream Meanings: 7 Common Dreams and What They Mean

Dream Meanings: 7 Common Dreams and What They Mean

People have been fascinated with dream meanings for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians wrote down their dreams and took them to priests who performed dream interpretations. The Ancient Greeks believed that dreams were omens of events to come. More recently, psychoanalysts thought that dreams held the secrets to a person’s mental health.

Dreaming is one of the few things that all human beings have in common, regardless of age, race, gender, or political affiliation. We all dream. More than dreaming alone, many of us experience dreams about the same situations. Have you ever dreamed that you were forced to speak in front of your entire graduating class while naked? That you were being chased by an unknown-but-terrifying creature?

Is it All New-Age, Hocus Pocus?

Interpreting dream meanings has a long history, even the Christian Bible speaks of kings having their dreams interpreted. The more modern approach to dream interpretation actually came from the field of psychology.

According to one of the earliest proponents of interpreting dream meanings, Sigmund Freud, dreams are wishes in disguise and serve as the fulfillment of that wish, a repressed wish, or an infantile wish. There must be something to these common dreams shared by so many people across time, distance, and culture. Below are seven of the most commonly reported dream scenarios, along with the possible dream meanings behind them.

Dream Meanings: Dreaming of Falling

Dream Meanings - Falling is a common nightmare.

Image: CC0, by doctor-a, via Pixabay

You’re falling fast asleep, safe and comfortable in your toasty warm bed. All is well and good. The next thing you know, you’re jerking awake in a panic after dreaming of a sudden fall. Whether you dream of plummeting from a tall building or merely missing one of the porch steps, dreams of falling are jarring and unpleasant for most people. But what do they mean?

The meaning:

The one thing all forms of falling have in common is that the person doing the falling has ultimately no control over where they will land. This suggests a feeling of losing control in one’s waking life. Dreams of falling could represent feelings of powerlessness and loss of control over yourself, your career, or your life in general. If you frequently dream about falling, it may be time to take control of the areas of life you feel insecure about. Climb into the driver’s seat and make some powerful decisions about your life.

Dreaming of Being Chased

It is easy to forget that human beings once lived a life where being chased by predators was a real possibility. Perhaps that flight instinct still resides in us all, triggered by the anxieties of our over-scheduled lives. Regardless of the cause, dreams of being chased are rarely a pleasant experience. In fact, they can be downright terrifying. Being chased isn’t only a common dream, it’s also considered one of the most widely reported nightmare themes for both children and adults.

The meaning:

It is generally believed that there is a common theme behind dreams of being chased: avoidance. Whether it’s a relationship that has gone south, a dead end job, or an ignored health concern, you’re running from something. Deal with your problems head-on, no matter how scary they seem. Dealing with a few intimidating issues in your waking life could provide some much needed quality sleep, minus the nightmares.

Dreaming of Water or Drowning

Dream Meanings for Water

Image: CC0, by Martinstr, via Pixabay

Perhaps you’ve always lived in the desert, yet you still find yourself dreaming of a vast blue sea. Dreams of large bodies of water are incredibly common. There are many possible variations that can result in a very serene and pleasant sleep experience or a rather frightening one. Dreaming of canoeing across a lake with your angelic, departed grandmother is one thing. Floating alone in a deep blue ocean as far as the eye can see, gasping for air as your arms give out and you sink below the salty surface is quite another. But, is there any difference in meaning between the two?

The meaning:

The state of the water in your dream may be able to tell you the most about its meaning. Is the water calm and still or violent and turbulent? It is a warm, comfortable temperature or is it scalding hot or freezing? Water is thought to represent the unconscious mind. A pleasant dream about calm, flowing water can be a great sign that everything is moving in the right direction. You’re not currently worried about any troubles on the horizon. On the other hand, if you’re dreaming about being tossed around in a violent storm at sea, capsizing, and then drowning, that’s an entirely different story. This suggests intense stress and the feeling that you are drowning in your circumstances in life, unable to find a life preserver to hold onto.

Dream Meanings: Dreaming of Flying

Maybe it’s a bird, maybe it’s a plane, maybe it’s a dream. Who hasn’t had a dream about flying a time or two? Most commonly seen in men and children, the ability to fly is a theme that has been revisited in dreamland by many people throughout their lives.

The meaning:

Flying is a theme that is quite easy to assign meaning to. What is the freest, most unburdened creature you can think of? A bird, of course. Birds soar above the trees whenever they want to, without a care or restraint in the world. Has the same ever been said about a person? Flying represents freedom. Flying in your dreams can mean that you long to let go of the daily pressures and obligations you face and be free to do as you please. It’s a wonder every person on earth hasn’t dreamed of flying at one time or another.

Dreaming of Pregnancy or Childbirth

Dream Meanings: Birth and pregnancy are common dreams.

Image: CC0, by Daniel Reche, via Pixabay

Dreaming about pregnancy or giving birth is, of course, incredibly common among pregnant women. More surprising is the fact that these dreams are widely reported by people who are not pregnant, including men. Imagine being a middle-aged man, falling asleep in your sensible flannel pajamas, only to be awakened by a rather vivid dream depicting you giving birth to a set of twin baby girls. A bit of a rude awakening.

The meaning:

As usual, dreams about pregnancy and childbirth are rarely literal. Instead, giving birth in a dream can represent a new idea or opportunity in your life. Have you recently considered starting a new business or writing a book? Your ideas are your babies. If you’re dreaming about giving birth, it’s likely that you have some big ideas on the horizon and they could potentially change your life as much as an actual baby.

Dreaming of Losing Teeth

Another unpleasant but surprisingly common dream is one in which your teeth suddenly fall out, break off, or crumble in decay. Especially popular among menopausal women, this is one dream situation that can be particularly unsettling. Depending on how graphic your dream is, you may be in for some bloody, rotten imagery that will likely stick with you throughout your day.

The meaning:

Our teeth are obviously a huge part of our appearance. Unlike a tattoo, a scar, or a stained shirt, you can’t hide your teeth. Dreaming about damaged or missing teeth screams of a sense of insecurity regarding physical appearance. If you’ve been feeling a little sensitive lately about a recent weight gain or the ramifications of aging, this dream is no surprise. It may be time to take care of yourself and soothe some of your concerns about your health and appearance.

Dream Meanings, Dreaming of Being Naked in Public

Dream Meanings Naked

Image: CC0, by kilhh, via Pixabay

You’re giving a speech, leading a meeting, or rushing to a first date. Everything is fine and dandy until you suddenly realized that your clothes are missing. You stand there, helpless and humiliated, while everyone forms a circle around you to point and laugh hysterically at your expense. As universal as it may be, dreaming of being exposed to a crowd of people is a tough pill to swallow.

The meaning:

Clothes are made to conceal us. Without clothes, we are completely revealed and vulnerable. Dreaming of being nude in front of other people is a sure sign of feeling exposed emotionally. The fear of rejection and anxiety that most people experience when opening up completely to another human is intense. It is no surprise that these feelings can manifest themselves in the form of dreams of humiliation.

Dreams are one of the most fascinating phenomena we share, as a species. Take some time to think about your dream meanings, what they may represent, and the context of your life and feelings at the time. Keeping a dream journal to tie your emotions to your dreams may help you to eventually create a personal dream dictionary to understand yourself, your life, and your dream meanings a bit better.

 

Featured Image: CC0, by C_Scott via Pixabay, altered

What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the name “Kodi.” Perhaps you were wondering what it is. Kodi is free, open source home theatre software for your device or smart TV. However, it’s so much more than that. Do you need it? We think you’ll think so, once you learn more about it. How can you get it? And what can it do for you? That’s what we’re about to tell you.

Like Entertainment? You’ll Love Kodi

Kodi

Image: CC 2.0, by Yanki01, via Flickr

Kodi is a multi-platform home theatre PC (HTPC) application. Multi-platform means that it runs on just about any device. Windows? Yes. OS X and iOS? You bet. Linux? Raspberry Pi? It has you covered. And the home theatre part? We think you can figure it out.

What does it do? Well, just about everything. You can use it to play and view streaming media like music, video, TV, movies, and podcasts. In addition, you can use it to access common digital media files from storage. What’s more, various plugins allow you to access streaming media content from your subscription services. Want to watch movies from Amazon Prime Instant Video? Not a Problem. Furthermore, you can also access Crackle, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

If that’s not enough, later versions have a personal video recorder (PVR) front end for receiving live television. It also has an electronic program guide (EPG) and high definition DVR (digital video recorder) support. The software is highly customizable, with various plugins, skins, and themes. In addition, the app has support for your remote controls and powerful add-ons for various web services. There is also an extensive library of user-created add-ons.

So, the question isn’t whether you need it, but instead, how you’ve been getting along without it all this time.

Kodi Has a Wide Variety of Content

Kodi isn’t a content provider like Netflix or Hulu. However, the software makes it easy to bring together all of your favorite streaming media, and your own media collection, into one, organized, easy to use place. Just take a look at some of the things you can do with this software.

Movies

Kodi on television

Image: CC 2.0, by Ginny, via Flickr

The app supports all the most popular video formats, including streamable online media. In addition, it can easily import, browse and play movies from your own collection.

TV

The TV show library supports episode and season views of streaming TV shows. You can organize your TV shows with posters, banners, “watched” tags, show descriptions, actors, and more. You can even keep track of your progress through a series.

Music

Kodi

Image: CC0, by Geralt, via Pixabay.

Further, the music player can play both streaming music and songs from your collection. It supports numerous file formats, including mp3, FLAC, Wav, and WMA. In addition, it has support for cue sheets, tag reading, and smart playlists. You can manage your online and home music collection all from one easy interface.

PVR

Want to record live TV? You can do that, too! The software uses popular backends like MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, and others.

Photos

With this software, you can import your own images into a library, browse in different views, and even put together a slideshow. In addition, you can keep your photos organized, sorted, and filtered. And you can do it all with your remote control.

Customize Your Experience

Kodi has an extensive library of user-created add-ons that you can use to customize your experience. Some of these add-ons include support for streaming audio and video. There are also skins for changing the look and use of the interface. In addition, there are web interfaces that allow you to control your Kodi remotely. Game support? Got it. Want to watch foreign television? There’s an add-on for that, too. You can even create your own add-ons and upload them to the Kodi library. And there’s so much more you can do. Best of all, it’s all free.

Where Does the Kodi App Come From?

Kodi started out life as a homebrew (independently developed) media player application called Xbox Media Center (later XBMC). It originally ran on the first generation Xbox game console. But XBMC grew up. Now it is offered by the nonprofit XBMC Foundation.

How Can It Be Free?

Image: CC 2.0, by opensource.com, via Flickr

Kodi describes its software as “for the users and by the users.” This means that there is no highly paid software development team. All work is done by volunteers, for the love of a good product.

How can you help it to stay free and keep improving? We’re glad you asked that! The company is currently seeking volunteers to help with testing, quality assurance, coding, and localization. If that’s not your strength, you can help by writing documentation or creating add-ons. And if these ideas make your head spin, you can also help by donating, buying their merchandise, or even just spreading the word.

Where Can You Get a Kodi Download?

You can get the latest Kodi download from their website, Kodi TV. There are versions available for Windows, iOs, OsX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and more.

Exodus Kodi and Other Controversies

Exodus Kodi was one of the most popular Kodi add-ons. It was a creation of a prolific developer who operated under the name “Lambda.” Exodus Kodi was a controversial add-on because it allowed users to access pirated movies and TV shows. Alas, Exodus created a controversy in the user community as well.

Kodi pirate

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In February 2017, Torrent Freak reported that some users confronted Lambda about their work, and threatened to expose their identity. However, because of the controversial nature of some of Lambda’s work, they preferred to stay anonymous. A short time later, Lambda added malicious code to the Exodus add-on. According to Lambda, the malicious code was a countermeasure against the people threatening to expose them. Eventually, after public outcry, Lambda removed the offending code and retired.

Some have expressed concern about the possibility of using its add-ons to illegally access copyrighted material. The XBMC Foundation strongly condemns using it for this purpose.

Learn More at Kodi TV

Want to learn more about this exciting new technology? You can learn everything you want to know and more at their official website, Kodi TV. In addition, you can check them out on your favorite social media platforms: FacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Youtube.

 

Featured image: screenshot, by Kodi, via Kodi.Tv

The Pirate Bay: Online Piracy and Entertainment for Today

The Pirate Bay: Online Piracy and Entertainment for Today

If you haven’t heard of the Pirate Bay, the time is now. Just 18 years ago, in the symbolic year of 2000, famous metal band Metallica sued the young website Napster. Designed to make use of the increasing speed of internet connectivity, Napster offered its audience of mostly college-aged adults a platform to share and download MP3s. The industry accused it of facilitating online piracy. By the time the lawsuit was over, it ended up being one of the most divisive court battles of the burgeoning online technology. Its fault lines can be felt even to this day in the cultural zeitgeist, even if the players have changed. The most famous one being the notorious website the Pirate Bay.

Ultimatimately, the argument came down on two sides. Some felt Metallica’s response was dis-proportioned and showing signs greed. Signs of a millionaire artist who lost touch with the realities of music in social environments. For many Napster was just the newest incarnation of activities such as tape trading. An exchange of cultural values outside any economic concerns. At the same time, Metalica stood up for artists everywhere. The artist who put untold hours into their hard work, and deserve to make a living from their craft. And in these terms, it is not easy to draw up easy, binary conclusions. Is piracy an issue of consumer vs. artists? Consumers vs. industry? Most likely it is a grey area of muddled intent and values, a grey area we are going to try and explore.

This article is neither a guide to nor an endorsement of torrenting. But it will serve as an introduction to the Pirate Bay. As it currently stands, online piracy represents an illegal form of copyright infringement, and as such is a criminal activity.

What is The Pirate Bay?

Image CC by 0, by Fleshgrinder, via Wikimedia Commons

For those unfamiliar with the Pirate Bay, and Thepiratebay.so, it is a so-called torrent site. Torrent sites, or BitTorrents, are websites distributing torrent files for download. Simply put, these files work as a form of a decentralized distribution network. For example, if someone downloads a song from iTunes, they access the file from one of many central servers. This, however, is an inefficient way of managing downloads, especially when many people want to download at the same time. A torrent file, however, gets broken into little chunks, distributed over a swarm of participating user bases. Instead of downloading a file in one piece, torrenting downloads the file in small increments spread out across many sources. And as soon as you start to download, you are also taking part in the swarm and help others to download.

The torrent file itself does not contain any of the actual content. Rather it contains metadata, that enables the user to download the content using specific clients. This is where the Pirate Bay comes in. Torrent sites like it are collections of torrent files covering everything from music, movies to video games. They are a source to gain access to endless hours of entertainment. All free, and all illegal, provided by collectives of hackers and determined individuals. Online communities rank the best torrent sites, based on their catalog. The market is in constant flux, as legal actions force sites to shut down, only to reappear a week later under a slightly altered name.

Piracy and You –  a Consumer Perceptive

picture of FBI anti piracy warning

Image CC by 2.0, by bizmac, via Wikimedia Commons

To understand the appeal of online piracy, especially during the days of Napster, we have to take a look at the past. Media distribution used to build itself was highly centralized. Print, movies, TV, music were all controlled by a strong entertainment industry, asserting vertical control. The result of which was a media landscape with a limited number of channels, most infamously of all probably TV. When there were only a handful of networks present, the amount of time was finite. But then came the Internet.

The Internet was not the first incident of new distribution channels occurring. But unlike anything before, it really opened up the floodgates. Instead of waiting for the industry to provide entertainment through their rigid structures, the audiences began to change. A hunter-gatherer mentality started to take root. People started to actively seek out desirable content. Why miss your favorite TV-Show, when you could just watch it on your own time? The media landscape turned into a fragmented collection of endless distribution channels, all competing with one another.

Instead of publishers, record labels and studios controlling the system from the top down, the internet opened endless opportunities to reach people. The only problem, the entertainment industry did not catch up quick enough to this change. This is why Napster first took the world by storm. For a more media savvy generation, traditional distribution began to feel more and more constricting. To use a metaphor, if there is only one store in the city selling music. And that store is only open once a week. It is only a matter of time before people begin smashing windows. What everyone failed to understand: consumers are willing to pay for their entertainment, but it was not reflecting their reality.

Game of Thrones – The Canary in the Coalmine

Since its release Game of Thrones has been one of the most successful TV shows of all time. At the same time is also has been the most pirated show of all time. While this success is certainly flattering for HBO, the network producing the show, it also represents millions in lost business. It also shows how a global phenomenon in the age of the Internet transcends borders. Throughout the show’s runtime, HBO began to decouple their pay-TV model from their online streaming model, in order to appeal to the new viewing standards.

At the same time, however, a global fan base cannot always legally engage. A service like HBO is not always available in every country. Waiting for physical home video releases is not enough for many, living in an interconnected world. This leaves them in the position of distribution limiting their willingness to pay. The same is true for films often being released with huge gaps in different local markets. Some companies still acting as if they are living in an analog world. They have to embrace the interconnectedness of worldwide audiences, instead of punishing them through outdated models of local distribution.

One company that did act on this has been the streaming giant Netflix. It expresses and encapsulates streaming’s combined ease of use, variety, and value, beats the allure of pirated entertainment. When you can try a free month of more content than hours in the week, why bother with illegal channels? Furthermore, Netflix took the lessons piracy is willing to teach. By using the Pirate Bay statistics as market research, they determine what type of content is popular with audiences.

The Way of the Future

image of Netflix with a remote and hand as an alternative to the pirate bay

Image by freestocks.org, via Unsplash

There is no question that online piracy is illegal. Court cases across the globe have used the download/upload realities of torrenting to justify some extraordinary high fines. In most cases, these ruling hardly justify the intent of the person who committed a crime most closely compared to shoplifting. Punishment should fit the crime. Yet online piracy never gained the same stigma as theft in the analog world, despite PR attempts throughout the early 2000s.

Subscription has been more than anything the industry’s way of defeating piracy. Torrenting is most likely never going to vanish, but Netflix proved that the changing user expectations making piracy popular can be embraced. Nowadays the music industry applies this business model with services such as Spotify and Apple Music to great success. Software giants like Microsoft and Adobe did the same for their user programs. Convenience is the keyword. And its time for the remaining businesses holding out, to embrace the lessons the Pirate Bay and other torrent sites are trying to teach them.

 

Featured Image: By Markus Spiske, via Unsplash