Bullet Points: Hot Rounds Of Information Goodness

the grandmaster Tony Leung Chiu Wai

The Grandmaster might have opened on only seven screens last weekend, but it still earned a per-screen average better than any other release. The Ip Man biopic starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi opens much wider to around 600 screen this weekend and will hopefully continue making a good deal of cash. [via THR]

The_Expendables_3_BTS wesley snipes sylvester stallone

Another day, another round of Expendables 3 images popping up. This time Wesley Snipes got in on the action! [via ComingSoon]

vin diesel fast and furious 6

Fast & Furious and Riddick star Vin Diesel‘s getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today at 11:30 PST. Congrats Vin! [via Variety]sharni-vinson-step-up-3d

There’s been a movie in the works for a while now without a title referred to as “the female Expendables.” As you can probably figure out, it features an all-star group of women kicking ass and blowing things up (presumably). The movie’s already got Gina Carano and Katee Sackhoff on board and now includes Step Up 3D and You’re Next star Sharni Vinson. [via Collider]

antonio banderas once upon a time in mexico

Word on the street is that Sony’s making a TV series based on Robert Rodriguez’s excellent El Mariachi trilogy. Great news, right? Well, not so great when you find out they’re not involving Rodriguez in the process and won’t even return his phone calls on the subject. Ouch. [via Deadline]machete-kills-sofia-vergara-alexa-vega

Speaking of Rodriguez, dig this new photo from Machete Kills featuring Sofia Vergara, Alexa Vega and Elle LaMont. [via EW]

If you like Johnny Depp being all wacky and Jack Sparrow-y then you’ll be interested to learn that the fifth Pirates movie now has an official title: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  [via This Is Infamous]

Hey, Don’t Buy Sony TVs

I know this is just a little blog that not a lot of people read, but one of the things that makes the internet great is that regular people can speak out about the problems they’re having. In this case, I’ve been having a problem with a Sony Bravia TV (KDL-40V4100) that was purchased in late 2008. I went through what exactly was wrong with the set (do they even still call them sets?) in a post last month.

Since then, I’ve had the cable company come out and they told me it wasn’t the signal, which I had already figured because the cable works fine on our little TV perched above the big one (which feels very white trash). Last week I was able to get an electronics repairman to come out and give it a look. After explaining to him what was wrong, he said he’d have to go back to his shop and do some research for pricing. He called me back and told me that the tuner board–the source of the problem–was pretty pricey and the whole thing with installation and all that would be $460. That’s on top of the $120 I paid for him to come out to my house to give it a look (I did the house call route because the TV’s too damn big to wield on my own and the hours are a little wonky so the missus can’t get home in time from work to help me).

Anyway, with that information in hand, I decided to call Sony up today to see if they could do anything. I understand that it’s past warranty, but I thought they might do something to help considering this very expensive television stopped working after less than two years. That doesn’t seem right does it? Well, after getting passed around I was basically told that, since I didn’t have the extended warranty (a gamble at best that I apparently should have taken) and you really can’t tell what’s going to happen with electronics once they’re sold, there’s nothing they could do.

Well, here’s what I can do: tell you about my poor experience and never buy a Sony product again. I can also at least attempt to harness the power of the internet to let other people know what kind of shoddy merchandise these people pass off as high quality and the lack of customer service. I can guarantee that my family and I would have spent far more money on Sony products than it would have cost to fix this problem. $460 from a big company like that to fix a defective product seems like pretty small potatoes compared to a lifetime of buying TVs, stereos, DVD players and whatever else might get invented in the coming years.

So, in the end, pardon my French, but fuck Sony. I’ll get this TV fixed now because I can’t afford a new one, but when the time comes for another TV? You can damn well bet that it won’t be a Sony.

My Broken TV Fills Me With Rage

As I wrote about a few years back, my parents were super awesome and got us a big ol’ flat screen Sony Bravia TV (model number KDL-40V4100). It was awesome. It made DVDs (we didn’t go for Blu-ray cause I’m super cheap and can only see so well anyway), Xbox, Netflix Instant and even VHS tapes look awesome. Everything was going smashingly until a couple weeks ago, when, in the middle of a power crisis–not as cool as it sounds–we lost all our analog channels and could only get digital ones. It was a bad time because a series of failing appliances were driving me crazy. First the power in our bedroom seemed limited, then our older-ish dishwasher stopped working, then the TV was acting up, the AC crapped out and the last straw was our brand new washer and dryer shitting the bed. It turned out that our outside breaker was rusted to crap and needed replacing. The condo company suggested an electrician who came out and fixed everything and is my absolute hero.

But the TV still didn’t work. Allow me to elaborate with the help of photos I took of my sad TV. First here’s what the analog channels look like. Mind you, the sound comes through crystal clear.While messing around with the remote, I clicked the Guide button and, as if to drive me even crazier, this happened.As you can see in the little tiny box in the upper left hand corner, the picture comes in PERFECTLY. WTF?! Here’s what some of the less good digital channels look like, which is even stranger.This is like when our old gigantic TV would act up when I was a little kid and I’d give it a good two-footed kick on the screen and the black bars went back where they belonged. And finally, here’s the good digital channels, which are basically NBC and Discovery. Oh, also, even though it might not look like it thanks to the fuzzy reflection, I assume you I am in deed wearing clothes, it’s a white T-shirt. Get your mind out of the gutter. Grr. I tried everything I could think of to remedy/test the situation. I tried a different cable coming out of the splitter into the TV. I tried removing the splitter (which allows us to have internet as well, which is decidedly more important considering I work from home) and putting the cable directly from the wall into the TV. No change. I even replaced the surge protector multi-plug. To see if was a cable issue I brought our little TV out of the bedroom and hooked that up and it works just fine. RAGE.

I’ve tried communicated with Sony on three separate occasions, using three different methods, none of which have helped. I sent an email to their help desk which told me to unplug it for a couple minutes and try something called a power restart. Done and done with no change. I then tried the chat help selection and I think I was really talking to a robot who was just giving me the same troubleshooting tips as before. Nothing helped. After a busy weekend, I decided to give it one last shot before calling the cable company or taking it to a repairman, called the phone number, got a nice enough guy whose accent made the call nearly pointless and got THE SAME ADVICE. I dutifully tried it all again to no avail. The guy recommended I call the cable company and then try some official Sony fixers in the area.

Oh, the other weird thing is that the TV will play DVDs via the HDMI plug, but can’t read the Xbox through either the Red/Blue/Green plugs or the Red/White/Yellow ones visually. Again, the sound comes through. It’s infuriating. So after all this time and the rollercoaster of emotions I was on starting with the power problems and now with the TV, I’m exhausted and angry. Then Wipeout came on and seeing people launched off a giant balloon into water thanks to either a loved one or a 250 pound weight really helped. I figured I’d post this to see if anyone else has been having this problem and see what the solution was. The guy I talked to said he’d never encountered this particular problem before. I’m really hoping that, even though our warranty has expired, that whatever is wrong will be covered by Sony. I’m guessing it’s a faulty chip or some such, which would seemingly be their bad. If not, well, you won’t see me purchasing any further Sony products and I’ll use my little corner of the internet to let everyone know what’s up. Stay tuned, I wish I could, at least on a better TV…