Product Reviews, Movie Reviews, Political Commentary Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:45:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Eliminate Pool Algae with Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer – Review Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:50:20 +0000 UPDATE 6/21/17: Pool is crystal blue, no algae. I may up rating back to 5 stars. Once I got my pool chemicals in line – 1.4 chlorine, 7.4 Ph, 120 total alkalinity, and brushed the sides every 2 weeks, and run pump 4.5 hrs/day, I haven’t had any algae. I just ordered 2 new copper cores from Costco ($60 ship free). I still have copper left on the original, but will probably replace it anyway to start a fresh season. Crossing fingers all stays algae-free. If no problems, I will rate 5-stars. I may cut chlorine to 1.0 to see what happens.

UPDATE 5/22/2017: I dropped one star from the review rating (from 5 stars to 4 stars). Coming off of Winter into a warmer Spring I have noticed small amounts algae in the pool. I found I let my chlorine level drop to zero. I cleaned my diatomaceous earth filter, brought my pool chemicals into line, cleaned, brushed, and vacuumed the pool. I cleaned the Ionizer. The copper core is about 1/2 the size it was when new. I gave the pool a couple weeks to adjust. Without brushing, some algae started on my back wall (North facing) and in the alcove area where water does not circulate well. So far the algae is minimal and with a quick brushing, it goes away. I’m still happy with the Remington Pool Ionizer but not the “Wow!” factor I had when I first started using it at the end of the summer last year. I will replace the copper core soon and keep chemicals up to date and report back in a few weeks. For now, I still like it and think it helps, just not 100% like I thought last year.

Remington Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer and Purifier – Review

Remington Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer and PurifierChemical-Free Sun Shock

I just purchased this device from Costco for $99. It claimed to produce minute amounts of copper into the pool water creating an environment where algae cannot grow. I was very skeptical but am a big Costco fan and knew if it didn’t work it would be an easy return.

The device looks fairly simple. It is a floater, like a chlorine dispenser. On the bottom side you screw in the provided copper core which is in the center of a wire coil that is affixed to the device. Then you attach a mesh cage over the coil and copper core to catch any droppings from the copper generated. This is to protect your pool bottom from getting discolored.

The whole assembly takes only a couple minutes. Then just drop in your pool and wait.

My Results with the Remington Solar Sun Shock Pool Ionizer

I documented my results in the video below.

First Week

I was a little disappointed. No real change. Wanting this thing to work, I thought my weekly algae growth was not as bad as usual. To be fair, the nights are getting cooler and the water temperature is lower. Also, the manual said it takes 3-4 weeks for results – for enough copper to get into the water, depending on the size of your pool. My pool is about 17,000 gallons. One Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer is good for up to 22,000 gallons. If your pool is larger, you will need two devices.

Second Week

I could tell there was less algae than usual but still not a satisfying reduction. At least not enough to justify the cost. My pool back wall is North facing so is most prone to algae growth.

Third Week

Now I’m getting excited. It looks like this thing is really working. No signs of new algae. My chlorine levels are on the low side (2 parts using Taylor’s K-2006 Test Kit). Supposedly you can get by with .5 – 1.5 parts chlorine instead of the normal 3-4 parts. Will this miracle last….?

Fourth Week

Ecstatic! No algae. I have not cleaned the pool in 2 weeks and there is absolutely No Algae! I’m now a believer. I’m giving the Remington Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer and Purifier 5 stars. I will continue to monitor and update this review and reduce my rating if things change for the worse.

The kit includes the solar ionizer device, one copper anode, one mesh cage with a plastic wingnut, a wire brush, and 30 copper test strips. Click on the image below to go to Amazon to read more specs and other reviews.

Get the Remington Solar Ionizer here...



Now for the Cons…

Cost. The Chemical-Free Sun Shock device is not cheap. $99 at Costco is a good price. Amazon is around $135 Prime free shipping as of this review. Home Depot is about $130. Remington Solar claims you will save money by only needing to use 1/2 the amount of chlorine as usual. Plus no more need to shock your pool or use algaecide or the expensive PhosFree.

The Copper Core.
The copper core that you screwed into the bottom costs about $40 to replace. It is estimated you will need to replace every year. As it releases minute amounts of copper into your pool, it also will decrease in diameter size. If I can eliminate algae, $40 a year is fine with me. Home Depot has the copper anode for about $40. Amazon (as I’m writing this) is $52 free shipping. The kit includes one copper anode.

copper-core replacement for Remington Solar Ionizer
This is not a set it and forget it device to eliminate algae in your pool. You need to clean the coil and core with a wire brush (included) every week or two. It is a little messy but not a difficult task. See my short video below.

Floater blocking skimmer. Like any floater, while your pump is on, it will eventually end up at your skimmer and block it from doing its job. You can tether the pool ionizer so it does not reach your skimmer. I’ve been running my pump in 1 to 1 1/2 hour increments 3 times a day. Seems to be working well for me. My electric bill is lower and pool seems no worse for wear… especially with this new algae eliminator. So if the pool ionizer reaches the skimmer, it is only for a short time.

Lack of sun. I doubt this is much of an issue for most. I live in southern California so I get a lot of sun. But the Remington Solar Chlorine Free Sun Shock Ionizer and Purifier is powered by the sun. Even on cloudy days, the solar panel on the top of the floater will still charge the system.

Copper levels. Small amounts of copper in the water are fine for both the pool, equipment, and swimmers. But too much copper in the water is not recommended. The kit comes with 30 copper test strips. You dip the strip into your water and compare it to the color on the container to visually figure out your copper level. You should try to keep the copper level in your pool to .5 . If it starts to go higher, remove the device for a few days or week until the level drops. This is one extra thing you will have to do and there will be a small expense when you need to buy more test strips. I saw a 25 strip pack on Amazon for $9.95.

Pool chemistry. You still have to check your pool Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid, and maintain proper levels. This is not a con of the device, but you need to be aware this is not a set it and forget it fix. I highly recommend Taylor Technologies K-2006 Test Kit for professional water testing results. I’ve been using my kit for several years and buy refill replacement solutions as needed. Remember, instead of 3-4 parts Chlorine, you should be able to lower it to .5 – 1.5 parts. A certain level is helpful to kill bacteria. Although Remington Solar claims their ionizer also purifies and kills bacteria.


Bottom Line

I highly recommend the Remington Solar Chlorine-Free Sun Shock Pool Ionizer and Purifier.  It is working for me. Your mileage may vary. I hate fighting algae, I hate having to clean the pool every week (I know, I could hire someone – but I’m too cheap to do that). I don’t mind monitoring my pool chemistry. The Taylor Test Kit makes checking pool chemistry easy and reliable.

If I save money on Chlorine and Shock, all the better. It is so nice to look out my back window and see a pool with sparkling clear water and no yellow algae on the walls. If you want to stop algae from growing in your pool, stop spending a fortune on shock and chlorine and algaecides, give the Remington Solar Chemical-Free Sun Shock device a try.

If you’ve tried it or have a question, please comment below.

Get Remington Solar Ionizer here...


]]> 0
The Vet from Hell – Family Animal Hospital Costa Mesa, CA Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:24:55 +0000 WORST EXPERIENCE WITH A VETERINARIAN

I have to Rant for a minute. I realize this is not a product review and is a local Southern CA business. But this site is called Bob’s Rants and Raves, so here is my rant…

First the Pros:

Low-cost spay, neuter, shots, office visit

Dr. Bellinger was very good (more later)

Now the Cons:

No appointments – walk-in only

One – two hour wait times

Dr. Jaramillo – no longer has empathy, too quick to diagnose (more later)



Dr. Bellinger examined our 6 yr. old, 112lb Doberman that was experiencing some pain when lying down for a while. Our assumption was an onset of arthritis following TPLO leg surgery 1 ½ yrs ago. Dr. Bellinger asked all the right questions, got on her knees and did a thorough physical exam of Brody. She recommended X-rays on both back legs and back & pelvis area and a blood test. We agreed. I highly recommend Dr. Bellinger, the Good Vet.



The next day we dropped Brody off for sedation and X-rays. We got a call that we could pick him up at 1:30. Then a few minutes later got another call that said he was still groggy and to call back at 3:30.

We eventually were given the OK to pick Brody up. He was still very groggy and needed me to lift him into the back seat of our Elantra. Once home, he could not stand up, his hind legs would not support him unless he was walking. For nearly 5 hours he kept walking and would not lie down. Eventually, he went down and slept. We chalked it up to excessive anesthesia.

The next day, Saturday, Brody was still unable to stand. It was pitiful watching him try to drink water lying down. He still had not eaten and refused all his favorite treats and food. We were VERY CONCERNED.


We left early in order to get to the clinic before they opened – no appointments. We got there 8:45 AM – they open at 9:00 AM on Saturdays. We thought for sure they would rush us in and examine Brody. After all, it had been nearly 24 hours since his X-rays. He should be able to at least stand up.

We had to wait for one and a half hours before the Vet from Hell saw us. During that time, they had Brody in the back in a cage.


Dr. J (Jaramillo) is probably a nice person and at one time a good vet. Running a busy clinic and trying to process so many pets in one day has unfortunately taken its toll on Dr. J.

We had never met Dr. J. Our first encounter with her went like this as she came into the small examining room (Brody was still in the back in a cage.)

“Let me give you an education,” Dr. J said. No introduction. No signs of empathy. Just an iPad with Brody’s X-ray on it.

“Brody has arthritis which has probably spread throughout his body,” she went on. “It is in his rear knee joint.” She pointed to the X-ray. “It can spread rapidly.”

I protested, “He was fine when he came in yesterday for the X-ray. He can’t go lame that quickly.”

“Yes he can,” Dr. J stated authoritatively. “I’ve seen this happen many times and is the main cause of putting a dog down.”

“Not within a few hours!” I countered.

“I see you do not agree with me,” she said.

“No! Not at all,” I said. “Maybe he was given too much anesthesia. Maybe he was dropped. Something is not right here.” I said.

“He was not dropped and I did not give too much anesthesia. He required a lot of drugs to put him out, but he was given the correct dosage,” she said in response. “You are welcome to get a 2nd opinion. I encourage it.”

A few more back and forths and she left the room. Never once showing an ounce of compassion. Our child was in the other room unable to stand up. Unable to stand and eat. Unable to stand long enough to relieve himself. And all Dr. Jaramillo was able to come up with was, this happens. It is not unusual.

She left us sitting there in disbelieve. Now what? Do we stay in this room? Is she coming back? She just left and left us in a state of shock.

We decided to leave the room and go to the front desk and ask for our dog back. The girl at the desk said she needed to get our chart to see what the charges were to be. I said, “I am not paying anything! I brought my dog in here for some simple X-rays and now he is crippled!” She left and came back out and said no charge. We will bring Brody out through the side door – outside of the clinic. I thought, is that so no one sitting and waiting can see what bad shape he was in?

I lifted Brody into the back seat – all 112 lbs. We went home and felt like crying. Our boy, who just the day before was running up the steps, jumping into the car, giving us kisses, is now an invalid.


All day Saturday, Brody slept. He still wouldn’t eat. He drank lying down because his back legs wouldn’t hold him up.

By Saturday evening, I noticed his eyes were a little brighter, more alive. He ate some human lunch meat. My wife slept downstairs with him Saturday night. We had hope.

Sunday, I noticed he was walking better. He was looking more like himself. He was able to stand without his back end slowly going down. Then I noticed he was able to lift his leg when he urinated. Saturday he was barely able to squat and pee.

As the day went on, it looked like we were getting our Brody back. The Brody that just 24 hours earlier the “I know it all” vet was telling us authoritatively that Brody has onset of severe arthritis as a result of a previous leg surgery and being put under for X-rays and being down for a few hours triggered an onset of debilitating arthritis. That she has seen this happen often and has put down many dogs because of it.

  “Brody has onset of severe arthritis as a result of a previous leg surgery and being put under for X-rays and being down for a few hours triggered an onset of debilitating arthritis. I have seen this happen often and have put down many dogs because of it.”

I am glad I did not believe or trust Dr. Jaramillo. Brody is back to normal and is running in the park.


Dr. Jaramillo is at work, dealing with too many pets in one day to be able to do a good job. Get ‘em in, get ‘em out. One to two hour wait. Emergency? Your dog unable to stand up following us giving him X-rays? Wait one and one-half hours and we’ll look and see. Maybe no time to “look and see,  “I’ll just make something up and move on to the next pet.”

Family Animal Hospital in Costa Mesa, CA is not where I would EVER take my pet again. It is NOT a HOSPITAL. It is a CLINIC; an overcrowded, under caring clinic. The front desk staff were nice and Dr. Bellinger was great… but avoid Dr. Lori Jarimillo.

Need a shot? Go to the clinic, it’s cheap. Need medical services? Go to a Veterinary Hospital that takes appointments and can take their time to give proper treatment. It may cost a couple dollars more, but your pet is worth it.


UPDATE: November 13, 2016 – 4 months later. Brody is still doing well, does some running at the park – not too much because of his TPLO leg surgery in Jan. 2015. He goes up and down the stairs with no problem and he climbs up the ramp into my Ford Expedition without a problem. I don’t have a problem with a veterinarian telling me they are not sure what is wrong, but it may be this or that. I do have a problem with any doctor tells me definitively “this is the problem” and to be 100% wrong. Especially when this vet was hinting that we should consider putting Brody down — as she has done many times due to this phenomenon.

Four months later and I still get angry when I think about that experience.





]]> 4
Copper Chef Pan Review – First Impressions Mon, 25 Apr 2016 02:02:47 +0000 Copper Chef Pan


UPDATE 9/4/2016: As pointed out in user comments below, the Copper Chef Square Pan is copper-colored aluminum. I don’t know if the ceramic coating on the inside will prevent any harmful affects of the aluminum. Just wanted to point this out. Tristar does claim “100% Safe: PFOA, PTFE, and PFOS-Free.”

UPDATE 7/22/2016 – upped rating from 3 to 4 stars
I am liking this pan more and more. My wife loves it and more often than not grabs it for whatever she is cooking for dinner. Very easy clean-up. I made popcorn in it last night to test it out – to see if it popped the corn like in the commercial with no butter or oil. It worked! I preheated the pan on the burner on med-high for about 30 seconds, put 1/3rd cup of popcorn kernels in the pan (1/3rd cup only made enough for one person – next time I will use 1/2 cup or more). They tended to roll off to the sides since the middle is slightly higher. Within two minutes the popcorn started to pop and after three minutes I had fresh, popped popcorn. No oil or butter. I did add salt so it wasn’t totally a healthy snack! I’ll post a video of making the popcorn soon. Easy clean-up, just wiped with paper towel. I upped my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars.

My Experience with the Copper Chef Square Pan

I’m a sucker for “As Seen on TV” infomercials. They make the product look irresistible. The Tristar Products Copper Chef Pan is no exception. On the commercial, eggs slide around, even melted cheese doesn’t stick. It is a frying pan and a pan you can bake in. Square with high sides so you can do a lot with this pan.

I bought the Copper Chef Square Pan for my wife as a birthday present. We both were wowed by the TV commercial. She was out of town this weekend so I took it for a test drive. First, I cooked tilapia fish & broccoli. Then this morning I made a Monte Cristo sandwich – a ham & swiss cheese on french toast – normally deep fried. Instead of ham, I used thinly sliced turkey. Instead of deep fried, I cooked in the Copper Chef pan.

We got the 4 piece set which includes the Square Pan, glass top, steamer insert, fryer basket and a recipe book with a dozen or so recipes. The cost was $75. The next package up also included a Square Fry Pan for $105. Ours did not come with the utensils shown in some ads.

  • Ceramic-tech non-stick coating allows for easy clean up. Cook without butter and oil
  • The Stainless Steel Induction Plate means no hot spots. Allowing for fast, even cooking
  • Heat Resistant Up To 800 Degree, Dishwasher Safe
  • 4 Piece Set includes Pan size- 9 1/2 inches- 4.5 Quarts, Glass Lid, Fry Basket, Steam Rack, Recipe Book
  • 100% Safe: PFOA, PTFE, and PFOS-Free

See my first impression videos below for cooking fish and cooking a Monte Cristo sandwich. (Sorry for the quality – I was holding my small video camera with one hand while trying to cook.  🙂 )

First Impressions

When the Copper Chef Pan arrived from Amazon, we were a little disappointed. It seemed smaller than it looked on TV. Also, it is lightweight, which can be good – but it feels like copper colored aluminum. Quality didn’t feel like a $75 pan.

Cooking my first meal, tilapia fish & frozen broccoli, I was fairly impressed. Nothing stuck to the pan, everything cooked evenly. Cleanup was a breeze. So far so good.

Cooking the Monte Cristo french toast sandwich also was a positive experience overall. When cooking the extra egg batter to make scrambled eggs omelet style, I was disappointed that the eggs did not slide around on the pan like in the commercial. They didn’t stick to the bottom, they just didn’t slide.

The heat was not evenly distributed on the Copper Chef pan like the advertising claims. It was hotter in the middle which cooked the eggs faster there and left the eggs runny along the edges.

The center of the pan bottom is slightly higher which caused the egg batter and the melted butter used the night before with the fish, run toward the outer edges of the pan.

Cleanup was easy. Everything wiped off with a paper towel. Then I washed with soap and water to complete the cleanup.

My cooking videos

Cooking tilapia fish

Cooking a Monte Cristo Sandwich in the Copper Chef Square Pan


Bottom Line

My initial impression of the Tristar Copper Chef Square Pan is it is OK. Not a “WOW!” factor. Probably not worth $75. I have used nice T-Fall pans that food did not stick to that cost much less. The square design with high sides is nice – makes it more versatile. Plus the fact you can put it in the oven and bake in it is nice. Time will tell if it holds up or loses it’s luster just in time for the next As Seen on TV next best thing comes on!

Should you buy it? Maybe. Read more reviews on Amazon (click here) and decide for yourself. As of this writing, the Tristar Copper Chef Pan gets a 4.5 star rating by over 450 reviews. To me, it is not a 4.5-star product. 3-stars mean it is OK, not so bad that you shouldn’t get one, just don’t have too high of expectations. [see Update at top of post – I raised from 3-stars to 4-stars.] We will probably keep it. If it was $40 it would be a good buy. Let me know your experience with the Copper Chef pans – this square one and the others.

More to Come

I will update this review in the near future once I have used the pan more. I will also share my wife’s take on the pan; she’s the chef around here! I wanted to get this review up asap since infomercials are running and you may be like me and want an honest review of how the Copper Chef pan is and if it is worth the investment. Too early to weigh in on both of those. For now, this has been my initial impression.


]]> 30
Best Portable Heater Reviews – Lasko 754200, Optimus H-6003, Bionaire BCH9214RE Mon, 07 Dec 2015 00:48:43 +0000 Best Portable Space Heater Reviews

This is a quick review of 3 small space heaters: Lasko model 754200, Optimus model H-6003, and the Bionaire BCH9214RE. In my quest for the best small heater, I chose these three portable heaters because after researching small heaters they all looked promising. I ended up buying all three. I am returning one of them. Find out which is the best heater….

My Story

I wanted an affordable small portable heater to heat my home office. I also wanted one to heat my dog’s cage (where he sleeps at night in our bedroom), and I wanted a small heater I could easily move room to room as needed to heat a small area of that room.

I was not looking to heat entire rooms (except maybe a bathroom).

Small portable space heater reviews


The Best Small Heater
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat

I give this heater 5 stars.

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable ThermostatThe Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater is the number 1 selling small portable heater on Amazon and I see why. 

Lasko 754200 Rated no1

I bought the small Lasko 754200 heater on Amazon for $25 (free prime shipping). Check current Amazon price here. Very affordable space heater.

I was impressed with this little heater out of the box. The quality seemed solid. It has fan only setting (good for summer) and a high & low temp setting on the left and a thermostat setting on the right. The thermostat is not digital, so you have to play with it to get it where you want it to kick in. I leave the heat setting on low (#1) to conserve energy. It is plenty hot for my use.

I use the small Lasko 754200 in my home office. I have it sitting about 3-4 feet away from my desk. The fan does a good job of blowing the heat so my entire desk area is warm. My office is about 12’x13′ in size – with high cathedral ceiling. I notice when I come into the room after heater has been on a short while, the entire room seems warm.

The fan noise is very quiet… a nice white noise sound which if used in a bedroom would be fine and hardly noticeable. May even help put you to sleep. When it turns on there is no loud noise or clicks like some heaters. Although it has a fan-only mode, don’t expect it to replace a regular fan. It will push out some air but only enough to use as a personal fan at close range.

I highly recommend the Lasko 754200 heater for small room and personal heating. It is the best small heater I’ve found so far.

Read Amazon reviews here.

Lasko 754200 Reviews


A Good Small Heater
Bionaire Ceramic Tower Heater with Programmable Digital Thermostat & Remote Control BCH9214RE

Bionaire BCH9214RE heaterI give this heater 4 stars.

I bought this heater at Costco for $39.99. It is also available on Amazon (check current price). So far I am very happy with this heater. It is small, comes with a remote control, and osculates (if you want it to).

I am currently using the Bionaire to keep my dog, Brody, warm at night. It comes with a digital thermostat so you can set the temperature and the Bionaire Heater will kick on if the temp drops below your setting.

The lowest setting is 60 degrees, which I thought may be a problem if you wanted to set it lower. On my unit, the 60 degree setting is more like 55 degrees. It does have a 40 degree setting that you can use to keep pipes from freezing. I live in S. CA so that isn’t a problem for me. I’ve found the thermostat is not that accurate. I set it for 67 degrees in order for it to kick on when our room gets to about 55-60 degrees.

The heater is positioned about a foot from the side of Brody’s cage. We have blankets over the cage to contain the heat. Brody is a 110 lb Doberman – large and short hair. His cage is 48″ long, 42″ high. The Bionaire heater only kicks on a few times during the colder nights. The fan blows the warm air into Brody’s cage (he doesn’t seem to mind)… then after a couple minutes it automatically cuts off.

4 stars because the thermostat is not very accurate, and the instructions for the settings is not that clear. I wish manufacturers would put a little more effort into their instruction sheets. It has an Eco setting, but I’m not sure how it works – supposedly, it will adjust wattage used to be most efficient. But I don’t know if I can set the thermostat and use it. If I have Eco selected it blows heat, then if I turn the thermostat wheel it seems to switch to Thermostat mode. I don’t know if I left it on Eco setting if it would continuously run. The Bionaire heater BCH9124 also has a Max Heat setting which I assume keeps the heater on constantly.

The fan noise is not bad, a little louder than the Lasko heater. When it kicks on, I can hear it but it doesn’t disrupt my sleep that much. However, I do stay awake until it cuts off, worried my dog may be getting too hot (which he isn’t).

Check out the (click here) reviews on Amazon …. Check out (click here) Bionaire BCH9124 on Amazon.

Bionaire BCH9214RE Reviews

A Bad Small Heater
Optimus H-6003 Portable Oil Filled Radiator Heater Review

I give this heater 1 star.

Optimus H-6300 Portable Oil Filled HeaterThe Optimus H-6003 looks like a mini radiator. Unlike the previous 2 heaters, the Optimus H6003 is filled with oil which heats up and radiates the heat. There is no fan or noise. Sounded perfect for my dog’s cage.

I bought this heater at for $35. I had a $10 promocode, otherwise I would have purchased at Amazon. Amazon’s price was $33 (free Prime shipping) – check  current price here. Actually, don’t bother – it is not worth buying.

I ran the Optimus H-6003 all night at full setting. My dog’s cage didn’t even feel 1 degree warmer. Unless you are a foot or less from this heater, you will not feel any heat.

The Optimus H6003 uses 700 watts of energy. I pay about $.22-$.28 per KWH. I calculated to run this all night was costing me about $.18/hr x 8 hours = $1.44 (or $43/month)… for nothing… no heat.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND this heater!

Maybe I got a defective heater, because Amazon reviewers had different experience than me:Optimus H-6300 Portable Oil Filled Heater Reviews



My Rant

I’m returning this to When I went online to get an RMA # and return instructions, I found out that 1) I have to pay for shipping it back, and 2) I have to pay a 15% restocking fee. Over the years I have purchased a lot of computer equipment from NewEgg – mostly hard drives. Never had a problem, and never had to return anything.

This return opened my eyes. I doubt I will buy anything from NewEgg again, unless I am sure of the product I am buying. They wanted to charge $12.50 return shipping (provide me a label) or I can ship myself – which I will ($8.50). Amazon often (but not always) pays for return shipping and does not charge a restocking fee. Buy Amazon!

Of these three heaters, I highly recommend the Lasko 754200. It is the least expensive and does a great job heating smaller areas. It is relatively quiet and very easy to move around – only weighs a few pounds. The cord is fairly long. To see more reviews & price on Amazon – Click here.

The Bionaire is also pretty good with nice features like the remote and ability to osculate. It is also a nice looking heater. It has a high tech look with the digital readout. It also has more settings than the other 2. It may be slightly better than the Lasko heating a larger room… but not much better. To see more reviews & price on Amazon – Click here.

The Optimus H-6003 looks nice but doesn’t produce enough heat to be a contender. Maybe if you get its larger brothers you will have better luck in producing heat. The advantage of oil heaters is no noise or fan. The disadvantage is the heat doesn’t project into the room as well or fast as fan heaters.  To see more reviews & price on Amazon – Click here.

Good luck! Stay warm!


NOTE: I also have an older Lakewood Tall Ceramic heater with 2 ceramic elements. I’ve had it for years. The good is it puts off a lot of heat if you are within several feet of the front of the unit. The bad is it is more intense heat, gets very hot, does not have a very large radius, and when you turn it off, whatever heat was generated, seems to dissipate very quickly. For those reasons, I am not a fan (pun intended) of fanless ceramic radiating heaters.

Good for quick direct heat, bad for warming a room.

]]> 0
TING Cell Phone Service Review – Affordable Cell Phone Plans Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:13:32 +0000 TING – $15 Monthly Cell Phone Service

Only $15/month! TING is an affordable cell phone service for low use cell phone users. Service includes 100 minutes talk, 100 texts, 100 MB data – all for only $15 a month. This is a great plan for low use smartphone users, like me. If you talk less than 100 minutes and rarely use the internet outside your home’s wifi area, this is the plan for you.

Even for higher use cell plan users, TING can save you money! Plus… get $25 just for signing up using my link. See below.

UPDATE 10/16/2016: I still LOVE using TING! My monthly bill, including tax and fees is only $16.95. That’s it! Reception is excellent, voice quality is excellent, and viewing emails and surfing the web is fast.

Here is my story

I went swimming with my cell phone in my bathing suit pocket. Needless to say, the phone stopped working. I had 3 months left on my 2yr contract with Verizon. I had been very happy with Verizon. As a low use cell phone user, I opted for Verizon’s $45/mo plan with unlimited talk & text and 250mb data. Good deal… so I thought.

New Phone, New Plan

Verizon offered me a new phone with a new 24 month contract but I would have to pay $300 since my HTC One phone was no longer working and could not be traded in.
I told them that was too much and so began my search for a new phone and new service.

I searched for low usage cell phone plans.

I work from home and have wifi in my house. I rarely use the phone out of the house except to make or receive a call. So my data usage is very low since 90% of the time I am using wifi. My call volume is also very low since I use my home office line (I use Ooma) when I am at home. Plus, I just don’t make many calls – or texts.

There are several good plans out there if you look. Here are a few that I explored:

**Metro PC**: No Contract $30/mo unlimited talk & text, 1 GB data
**T-Mobile**: No contract plan, $50/mo unlimited talk & text, 2 GB data
**TracPhone**: No contract, pay-as-you-go plans or monthly plans starting at $9.99/mo for 50 min. talk time
**AARP Cell Plan**: Cricket Plan. Starts at $35/mo unlimited talk & text, 2.5GB data.
**Pay as you go plans**: These are low cost but you have to remember to refill your account and if you are running low on minutes, you may not be able to call out or complete your calls. Paying $100 or more annually usually gives you more minutes that do not expire, but you have to pay annually. My wife has a flip phone and we use T-Mobile pay-as-you-go plan. I pay $100 for a year and get extra minutes (gold level). Once her year is up, I will move her phone to TING if it is compatible – or buy her a new compatible phone. Then her rate will be $6/mo ($36/yr) if our combined usage stays in the tier 1 level. More on that later.

Why I went with TING

TING uses a tier plan (sometimes called a bucket plan). Each component – talk, text, data has their own tier (or bucket). Each tier starts off at $3/mo. (actually $0/mo). If you go over the tier limit you automatically go into the next tier level and are charged the price for that tier for that month. Each month start new. The advantage of this structure is you will never be cut off, but instead automatically be moved into next bracket.

See image below. The highlighted boxes are where I usually fall. If you never get a text (messages) you would be in the $0 column and your bill would only be $12.

TING Cell Phone Rate Plan

The other nice thing about this low cost cell phone rate plan TING offers is each device (phone, tablet, etc.) is only $6/mo.. As mentioned earlier, I plan to move my wife to this plan. She rarely uses her phone, so for her and me, the monthly charge will only be $21/mo. ($12+$3+$3+$3 = $21).

If either of us use the phone more than average – if out of town and calling home often for example – we may move into the next tier [101 – 500 minute] and the bill for that month will increase by $6 [$9-$3=$6] or $30 – which still isn’t bad for 2 cell phones.

Last month, I was out of town and ended up using more data then usual and landed in the 101-500 MB tier ($12). So my phone bill was a little higher. But still only $24, which is much less than the $45 I was paying with Verizon.

Which phones can you use?

You need to buy your own phone. TING sells phones starting at $47. Or, you can bring your own phone (BYOD). I elected the latter. If you bring your own phone, it has to be “unlocked” and you will need to buy a SIMM Card from TING ($9). I found a deal on eBay for an Amazon Fire Phone, unlocked, for $134 shipped free, no tax, brand new. Plus, it came with 1 year of AMAZON PRIME (a $99 value). As you may know, I am a big fan of Amazon Prime. My Amazon Prime account was extended another year! The Fire Phone is a quality android phone – may not have all the bells & whistles of $600 phones, but comes close. Originally, Amazon sold them for $649. They didn’t sell as expected and over the last couple years the price has come way down. Check eBay for current deals. Make sure to buy an UNLOCKED phone.

If you want a different phone, check out TING’s large selection, or try Amazon. Search for Unlocked Cell Phones. Yes, Apple phones will work with TING (if unlocked).

What cell service does TING use?

Right now, TING primarily uses T-Mobile service. One thing I liked about Verizon, when I had them, was their coverage. I was concerned whether T-Mobile would work for me. Yes! TING’s coverage is great for where I live. I am very happy with coverage, quality, & speed of TING’s T-Mobile cell service. I live in Southern California on the coast. So far, no problems.

TING uses GSM and CDMA phone services. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means… I didn’t either. GSM is the more universal phone signal. I suggest you get a GSM phone. Do some research to determine what is best for you. Call TING customer service and they will help you. They are very friendly and helpful. For CDMA phones, TING uses the Sprint network.

Visit TING’s website for more info on GSM, CDMA, and coverage maps.

TING Cell Phone Rate Plan



How much will YOU save?

TING makes it easy to see how much you can save on your cell service. On their website they have a calculator – just enter your last few cell phone bills and it will compute what you would have paid with TING and how much you will save annually. Pretty neat!

TING cell service savings calculator

Bottom Line

If you are like me and my wife and do not use your cell phone that much, are not streaming movies or music all day, TING is a great choice for your cell service. I have been using TING for 3 months now (as of this post date) and could not be happier with the cost, service, connection speed, clarity of calls, no dropped calls, fast downloads of files and emails.

I usually like to point out CONS and not just the PROS. The only CON I can think of was buying the SIMM card and inserting it into my new Fire Phone. Initially, I could not activate my phone, it said it was “locked” and to enter a code. I didn’t know what code they referred to. I called the place I bought the phone and he pointed out that the code was on the box the phone came in. Sure enough, right there in front of me it said “Unlock Code” and a set of numbers. I put the numbers in and all was good.

I transferred my phone number from my dead Verizon HTC One phone online at TING. The website said it could take a few days but it only took an hour or so. I was up and running very quickly with my new phone and service .

Customer Support

I called customer support to help me with activation – since I was too dumb to see the unlock code on the box. I got through to a live person right away, she was very patient and friendly. She went above and beyond trying to help. She searched the web for the Fire Phone so she could walk me through setup. And, she never made me feel like a dummy. 5 stars for customer service.

Nothing to lose

There is no contract. Your phone will be unlocked, so you can go to any other carrier down the road if you decide TING is not for you. By purchasing your own phone, opposed to financing it at an inflated price through a 2yr contract plan with another carrier, YOU are in control. There are NO FREE PHONES! The contract plans by other carriers that offer “Free Phone” are misleading. The cost of the phone is in the contract. In my case, 3 months left on my 2 yr contract with Verizon which gave me a “Free” HTC ONE phone… wanted me to pay $300 to replace my now dead phone. Don’t be a slave to the contract plans. Give TING a try!

Get a $25 credit!**

Use my link below and you will get a $25 credit toward your TING bills. PLUS if you are doing an early termination of your current contract, TING will pay you 25% of the early cancellation fee up to $75! In my case, I got a $25 credit plus an $18.75 credit from early cancel fee from Verizon. MY first 2 bills from TING were free! My bill with tax runs about $17/mo.

Click here to visit TING website and receive a $25 credit if you decide to sign-up! **(opens in new window)

Here is my Oct 2015 bill (before my credit was applied). I ended up with a negative balance with credit carried to next bill.

TING Oct 2015 Bill

You can always check your current usage online or using a TING phone app. You can set alerts when you get close to going over first tier. Here is my current usage this month so far:

TING current usage

I have a friend who wanted his elderly mom to have a cell phone so he could always reach her or she could use in an emergency. The phone rarely gets used and he was paying over $70/mo. I told him about TING and he switched over and now he only pays $15 a month for her. One month it was only $12!

Getting started is not difficult, even for the technically challenged. But, if you need help, call customer support and they will hold your hand and answer all your questions. Once you get set up, transfer your current cell number to TING (if you have one). You do this all online from TING’s website. They walk you through it step by step. After you are done, you will see how well your phone does in your particular area. Assuming you get 3-4 bars of reception and LTE 4 download speed, you will wish you had switched earlier!

Give TING a try. GET $25 CREDIT – which will probably cover your first bill and most of your 2nd month bill… or apply towards a new phone through TING. CLICK HERE to get your $25 CREDIT. It will show up on your first bill.

**Disclaimer – When you use my link to connect to TING you will receive a $25 credit on your bill and I will also receive a $25 credit. I am not promoting TING so I will get a $25 credit, I am giving an honest review of TING based on my personal experience using TING over the last few months. Hopefully, this review is helpful.

]]> 0
Samsung 75″ Smart LED TV (UN75H6350) Review Fri, 15 May 2015 23:50:40 +0000 Samsung-75-inch-UN75H6350

The Samsung 75″ Smart TV Review – models UN75H6300, UN75H6350, UN75J6300

UPDATE 12/24/2015: I still love my UN75H6300 75″ Samsung. But now is the time to move on to the UN75J6300 models. The “H” models are hard to find and are older models. The UN75J6300 gets great reviews from multiple sources. Check for best price on Amazon here.

The Samsung 75 inch Smart LED TV – model UN75H6300 or UN75H6350 (both are same TV). The newer model UN75J6300 recently came out to replace the UN75H6300 model. If you compare the specs of both models, you will see they are essentially unchanged in the newer model.


The picture quality is the number one reason to buy this TV. I am sure Visio, LG, Sharp, Sony and the others have good picture quality. But I challenge any of them to top the Samsung UN75H6350 75″ TV. Samsung has been a leader in large screen TVs for years. In the DLP days, Mitsubishi used to be the one to beat. Now it is Samsung.

I will give some picture setting tips a little further down. I personally own this TV and after looking at other brands, the Samsung is fantastic. I watch mostly cable TV and HD movies. I do watch some sports but not as much as my brother. The Samsung UN75H6350 excels in all types of viewing – sports, movies, regular TV shows.

Out of the box, the Samsung UN75H6350 (UN75H6300) picture is great. You’ll say “Wow!”… then you start to notice that shows and movies have a soap opera look to them. They look like you are in the filming studio. Almost too realistic. Colors are perfect, but the picture needs something…

I jumped online and searched “Samsung UN75H6350 tweaks” and found Tweak TV. I dove into my TV settings menu and started tweaking. After the tweaks my already great TV picture was FANTASTIC! The picture was real – not fake like soap opera. Primarily due to turning off the “Auto Motion Plus” setting. Some like this setting turned on for sports, but for me sports look just fine with it off. It is Samsung’s way to try and make the 120 Hz refresh rate into a 240 Hz refresh rate. Samsung calls this “Clear Motion Rate 240”. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the action will appear. But to me and most viewers, I doubt seriously if you will be able to tell much difference in everyday viewing.

The Clear Motion Rate 240, when turned on, smooths things out so much, you lose the natural look of movies. There are 3 settings you can choose besides Off… you can experiment for your own tastes, but Off does the trick for me.

The Samsung UN75H6300 & UN75H6350 are the same 2014 model (Costco & Sam’s Club sells the UN756300). The Samsung UN75J6300 is the 2015 model that just came out. It is basically the same as the “H” model. The Samsung UN75F6350 is the 2013 model and is probably impossible to find at this point. There are deep end of year discounts on the UN75J6300 models.


There are 4 HDMI ports. My setup only uses one.  I have a cable box (Time Warner), a DVD (LG), and a receiver (Onkyo). I have a 7.2 sound system (Klipsch speakers): a center speaker, front right, front left speakers, right and left side speakers, and two rear speakers, plus a 12″ powered subwoofer.

I run everything through my receiver. From the cable box HDMI out to the Receiver HDMI in, same with DVD – HDMI out to receiver HDMI in. I run an optical cable from cable box to receiver optical in. Then from my Onkyo receiver, I run one HDMI cable out to the TV.

I turn the TV speakers off or down to 0 – all sound comes from my Onkyo receiver. When watching TV, I have the receiver set to the TV input. When watching a DVD, I set the receiver to the DVD input.

Our family room is our Home Theater room. We had a 67″ Samsung DLP TV prior to getting the Samsung 75″ TV. The old picture was good, but now with the 75″ tweaked, and the 7.2 surround, shut the blinds, get the popcorn, we are ready to watch a movie in our own theater!

Just the jump up from 67″ to 75″ has made a big difference. And the picture color, clarity, and depth is nearly perfect. If you are looking for the perfect Home Theater TV, the Samsung UN75H6300 (UN75H6350) or the newer UN75J6300 is your ticket to the show. You will not be disappointed. The price for the UN75H6300 (UN75H6350) is at an all time low. No need to spend extra for the newer “J” model, grab the “H” model while supplies last. (see Update – now is time to get the “J” model!)


Initially, I set the TV up using the included leg stands. To be honest, the TV was a little wobbly using the stand and I did not feel comfortable having it sitting on the TV stand using the included legs. Especially in S. CA. earthquake territory! This was a temporary solution for me until I could get the mounting hardware.

I did some research and although the Samsung 75″ TV only weighs about 79lbs, I wanted a sturdy wall mount bracket. Also, we have cabinetry on each side of the TV and I wanted the TV to extend out from the wall approximately 26 inches so it would be flush with the front of the cabinets.

Kanto FMX3 TV Wall Mount

The mount that I got was the Kanto 40″ – 90″ Full-Motion TV Mount ($129 at Costco) that is rated for up to 150lbs and can extend out from wall up to 31 inches. The Kanto TV Wall Mount will tilt up and down and can swing out side to side. After installing, you can level it easily just by loosening on screw, put level on TV, the tighten screw. The mount itself weighs about 40lbs. I was able to install it myself, although having another person to help would have been easier. This is a very sturdy mount. I live in earthquake country (southern CA) and feel confident this TV is not going anywhere in the event of an earthquake. I will review this mount here later.

TWEAKS for the Samsung UN75H6350 75″ Smart TV

Here are suggested starting point tweaks from Tweak TV website:
These settings are for the “F” model but I found they worked better for me than their recommendations for the “H” model. (Should also work for the “J” model.) Use as a starting point then tweak for your preferences. 

User Menu Settings
Picture Modes
Picture Mode : Movie
Color Temperature : Warm 2
Aspect Ratio : Screen FitPicture Settings

Picture Settings
Backlight : 14
Contrast : 95
Brightness : 47
Sharpness : 0
Color : 50
Tint : G50/R50

Advanced Settings
Dynamic Contrast : Off
Blacktone : Off
Flesh Tone : 0
RGB Only Mode : Off
Color Space : Auto
White Balance : Factory Default
Gamma : -2
Motion Lighting : Off

Picture Options
Color Tone : Warm 2 (I set mine to Warm 1)
Digital Clear View : Off
MPEG Noise Filter : Off
HDMI Black Level : Low
Film Mode : Auto 1
Auto Motion Plus : Off

*Not all of these settings are available, some may be grayed out or not shown.

Give these settings a try. Wait a day or two before modifying the tweaks to your preferences. I say this because if you are used to the overly bright screen with over saturated colors that many TVs have coming out of the box, you may find after the tweaks, the TV isn’t quite as vibrant. Give it a day for you to adjust before making any changes. You may be surprised how the new settings actually improve the overall picture quality — especially for movie viewing.


Most of the newer LED TVs are good and will have a decent picture. Prices keep coming down. The newer 4K higher resolution screens are good, but as of now, very limited material produced at the higher resolution. Plus, the optical difference is not that great to warrant the higher current prices. Give it a couple years to become mainstream. [update: prices are coming down now. May be time to invest in the 4k models.]

3D capable TVs never really took off. Even with some 3D media to watch, many revert back to 2D viewing after the novelty wears off. Maybe 3D will improve and become more mainstream as the TVs themselves improve. And with the popularity of the larger screens like the Samsung 75″, you may see a resurgence in 3D… but right now it is not a game changer.

As TV size continues to increase, the curved screen may provide a better viewing experience. For most households, the traditional flat screens will do the job quite well. Whether curved screens are just a marketing gimmick or are here to stay is yet to be determined.


You will be very happy with the Samsung UN75H6300, UN75H6350UN75J6300. I would skip the “J” model and grab the “H” model and save a couple hundred dollars. The picture quality is perhaps the best in this category. Colors are true to life. Shadow detail is acceptable and blacks are good. Turn off the Auto Motion Plus and you will have a true Home Theater TV. For the money, I doubt you can get any better.

Samsung Amazon Ratings

Helpful link for more TV reviews:

]]> 0
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Dog Food Review Sat, 28 Mar 2015 23:02:51 +0000

Stella & Chewy Freeze Dried Dog Food Treat

I love this food. Or more accurately, my dog loves Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried food. I call it a treat rather than food because I have a 105 lb Doberman and this “food” is not cheap! For a small dog, it may be a little more feasible to feed as a meal, but even then, it will be a pricey dog meal. But, as a healthy treat, Stella & Chewy’s is great. I knocked off 1/2 star (4.5) because of the price – otherwise this is a 5 star product.

Stella & Chewy’s bag size

Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried dog food comes in 2 sizes – 5.5 oz and 15 oz. It used to come in 6 oz and 16 oz. but I guess instead of raising the price they reduced the package size. The package size stayed the same… just not as full. I usually buy the 15 oz. bag on Amazon with free Prime shipping. I look for deals – the price changes within a few dollars all the time. If I can find it under $28, I will buy a bag. [Check current prices here.]


Stella and Chewy Dog Food Flavors

As of this writing Stella & Chewy’s comes in Beef, Chicken, Duck, Surf & Turf, Pheasant, Rabbit, Lamb, Venison, Salmon & Cod, and maybe a couple I’m not familiar with. I’ve (my dog) only tried Duck, Beef, Chicken, Surf & Turf so far. The Pheasant, Venison, Rabbit tend to be about $5 more so I doubt I will try unless I see a special deal.

My local pet supply store sells the 15 oz. in several flavors for $28. If I can find on Amazon for that or less, I will buy from Amazon for the convenience of being shipped free to me [with Prime membership].

My (Brody’s – my dog) favorite is the Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Duck and Goose Dinner for Dogs (they also have cat versions of their food). The Duck Duck Goose is usually the least expensive along with Chicken & Beef which are often on sale for $25 – $27. Brody did not love the chicken as much as the duck – but still liked it and couldn’t wait for his treat. He also loves the Beef. So, if you are just trying Stella & Chewy’s food for the first time, I recommend starting with the Duck Duck Goose.

Stella & Chewy's chicken dogfood reviews

Stella & Chewy’s ingredients

I was going to write ingredients in my own words but realized I might as well just copy Stella & Chewy’s description. Here are the Duck Duck Goose ingredients… the other flavors are the same, just substitute out the duck for beef, chicken, etc.:

Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Apples, Organic Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement

  • Raw, Cage-Free Poultry
  • 95% poultry, nutrient-rich organs & bone
  • Organic fruits & vegetables
  • Fortified with added vitamins & minerals
  • Enhanced with probiotics & antioxidants
  • 100% complete & balanced dinner


  • No added hormones or antibiotics
  • No grains or fillers
  • No gluten
  • No artificial preservatives or colorings

As you can see, Stella & Chewy food has great ingredients. Perfect for a dog snack or a complete dog food (for smaller dogs).

Stella & Chewy’s Cat Freeze Dried Food

This review is for the dog version of Stella & Chewy, but they also have a cat version which you can check out

About the Paddy

The dog food comes in round paddies about 2.25″ in diameter and 1/2″ thick. They are compressed freeze dried food and break apart very easily. I give my dog, Brody, one-half paddy at night before bed as a “good dog” treat. I break a paddy in half (very easy to do) then break small pieces off. We play a “find it” game. I toss the small pieces here and there for him to find. The food does not have to be refrigerated.

Feeding as a Meal

You can feed dry, or you can put in a dish and add a little water to rehydrate the paddy. Brody loves them either way. Dry is easier and less messy, so I don’t add water. We only use as a food enhancement. As a puppy and young adult, Brody used to wolf down his food – enough so, that we were concerned and did all we could to slow him down (tennis ball in dish, special dishes with spikes, etc.). Now, as an adult he has become picky – which I prefer over inhaling his food. With no enhancements, he will sniff his dish and maybe nibble or just walk away. Yes, we have tried lots of foods – he initially likes the new food but then settles back into his old habits. [We feed Brody Replenish dry dog food. It is a premium food and he does quite well with it. Here is a link if interested – Replenish.]

We use Stella and Chewy freeze dried food as the enhancement. My wife will take one-half a paddy and crumble it over his food and mix it in. With the enhancement, Brody can’t wait to eat all his food. It crumbles small enough that he doesn’t just pick the good stuff.

Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Meal Mixer


They also make a “meal mixer” which are little pieces of the dog food. The cost per ounce is higher than the dog food, so I just get the dog food and break it up. If you want it already in small pieces, see Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Meal Mixers here.

Bottom Line

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Dog food, Cat food, Meal Mixers, Treats, are the perfect food or snack for healthy pets. Most snacks are made to appeal to humans. Some look like bacon or hot dog in a bun, or little hamburgers. Most of these are made with sugars and unhealthy ingredients. Even many of the so-called healthy snacks are not that healthy. Stella & Chewy’s may cost a little more… OK, a lot more… but if fed sparingly as food or snack/treat, a 15 oz. bag will last several weeks or longer. There are about 30-32 paddies to a 15 oz bag. One paddy a day, the bag will last one month. Try a bag. If not sure, get the smaller 5.5 oz. bag for around $12. I have some links on the side for some of the various flavors.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you (your dog) likes Stella & Chewy’s! see more reviews on Amazon – Click here.

]]> 2
The Equalizer Movie Review | Watch it! Fri, 26 Dec 2014 21:07:49 +0000 The Equalizer – Denzel Washington – Movie Review

Rating 8+/10

The Equalizer Movie ReviewI really enjoyed this movie. If you like revenge or vigilante type movies, you will love The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington. The movie had a few flaws and weaknesses, but I was able to overlook those because Denzel Washington did a great job, as usual, as the lead.

IMDB rated 7.6 — synopsis: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her.

The storyline was a little weak but got the job done. The movie was exciting to watch and the ending left it open for sequels. If you enjoy Denzel Washington movies than you will enjoy The Equalizer. This movie reminded me of the old Charles Bronson movies. The Equalizer is a quality movie with top ranked actor. I say, “Watch it.”

Come back and leave a comment to let others know if you liked it as much as I did. My wife gave it an 8.


]]> 0
The Guest – Movie Review | Disappointing Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:38:47 +0000 The Guest (2014) Movie Review

Rating 5/10

The Guest (2014) Movie ReviewThe Guest started out fairly good. It had an Indie movie feel and a few recognizable actors. I was intrigued and thought this may be better than expected. It progressed well enough, kept you wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. That is when it started to go downhill for me. I had it as an 8 in my rating scale until about half way through… then the points started to drop because of implausibility and over-the-top situations. I can give movies a little leeway in plausibility, but once they cross the line and insult my intelligence, I start to lose interest. The Guest crossed that line for me…. and it started so well.

IMDB rated 6.8 — synopsis: A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

Dan Stevens played the lead role as The Guest (David) and was good in this role. It was the writers that let him down. Maika Monroe played Anna, the daughter and did a decent job. You may recognize both of these actors but not know their names. The most recognizable for me was the dad played by Leland Orser whose credits include the TV series Revolution. Sheila Kelley played the wife, who you may recognize from the TV show Lost and several other movies and shows.

All in all the cast did a fine job but the script was pretty bad. Smarter writing of the 2nd half would have made this a decent movie… maybe even a 7 or 8 rating.  Unless you are desperate for something to watch and don’t mind violence, blood, and weak ending, I’d say “Skip it.”


]]> 0