Welcome to Michael’s Blog!

Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


 

01.11.21         movie reviews  

The Dissident


Spending the big money for this one, $25. The reason was such high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. It was 96/99% last time I checked. I wont give any spoilers here, but I will say there is an interesting piece of information as to why Jamal Khashoggi may have been targeted when he was.

Especially with everything going on recently, it was pertinent to why freedom of speech, even when we disagree with it is such a gift.

All this said, it was more a documentary about Jamal and the events leading up to his execution. Im not sure I would recommend it for $25 to most viewers during quarantine times as money is tight and most of the information is already available online. $10 would definitely be worth it. Im sure the price will come down with time.

It was interesting to me, and I was glad I watched it.

Sad story about a brave man who loved his country, but paid the price for speaking against authority.

01.07.21         tutorial & training videos  

Sony A7C Training Tutorial


If you would like me to do a crash course for the Sony A7C, please let me know in the comments below and if there is enough interest I will notify you when it is ready.

Visit my Sony A7C Facebook User Group

01.05.21         movie reviews  

Greenland


First movie review of the year! Greenland is a paid rental on most platforms and it was $20 (ouch), but the model is interesting to me for the same reason Wonder Woman 1984 was: new movies are now going straight to "home viewing" options, and the best model hasn't been figured out yet. I far prefer watching movies in the theater for the experience, but I wouldnt be against watching at home for obvious reasons.

As far as the film, it was decent, I liked many of the situations and problems proposed because that is exactly how disasters play out. Its an intense and engaging view into the human mind during disasters.

Was it worth $20? Uhhhhh not for one person I dont think. For 2 or more? Yes, and thats why I think it was $20.

12.25.20         movie reviews  

Wonder Woman 1984


Warner Brothers recently announced they will be simultaneously releasing their movies onto HBO Plus for no extra cost than their monthly subscription, at this time about $15. You could feasibly even subscribe, watch the one movie you want, and then unsubscribe.

Been waiting for this one for a long, long time. We watched it this afternoon over at my Dad's house today after Christmas lunch.

I really liked the first one, Gal Gadot is worth the cost of admission alone. WW84 had so much potential, some great moments and action, but overall I was disappointed! ugh! Sorry! There were just too many unnecessary parts that could have been edited out, and it felt very long and too many parts I couldn't suspend disbelief for.

All that said, there isnt much else out right now, so its a fun watch, but don't get your hopes up and it'll be more enjoyable.

12.05.20         movie reviews  

Runaway


Also free on Amazon Prime. An absolute 80s classic. Written by Michael Crichton!

Why were movies from the 80's sooo good?? Tom Select stars as an overly funded LAPD robot retention specialist. Amazing how much they got right. 30 years before Boston Dynamics started freaking us out, Runaway was warning us about the dangers of over-trusting robots which could be easily programmed to kill people. While we still don't have heat seeking bullets, they got drones right and called them "floaters". What more could you want then Gene Simmons' over the top villain Luther and 80's hair dos?? Its a fun movie!

11.27.20         movie reviews  

Ninja 3 Domination


This is another 80s classic. I remember we had the VHS tape as a kid and we would play this and terminator over and over and over. My siblings and I had every line memorized.

The production company that made these ninja films, Cannon, had a crazy history. They were the run and gun film studio that just cranked out movies like water. Apparently one year, if I am remembering correctly they had produced some 50 films. An astonishing feat likely to never be repeated. Im not saying they were all good films, but they were films. There is a 2015 Documentary about them on Amazon Prime: Electric Boogaloo - Wild Documentary About Cannon Films

Because of this wild west style of production, they put scripts together pretty quickly, and you get cult classics that are so bad they are good! Even after all these years I found myself quoting the lines and singing the quirky tunes. lol.


11.26.20         tutorial & training videos  

Black Friday Sale 2020


This might be a little confusing so please read this carefully and all the way to the end! (there is 1 completely free and 1 hidden offer here). We reserve the right to update or add at any time based on demand and availability.

These codes (at least for now are set to expire on Cyber Monday Midnight Eastern US time.

There are several deals I am offering, and they are all separate (meaning you can redeem more than one of them, but they each have to be couponed one at a time. I had a special a few weeks ago and many missed out on it and requested it for Black Friday through Cyber Monday:
These first two deals are redeemable only on my new Maven Tutorials Website, which I have included the hyper link for.

Save 25% off of either my Canon 90D Crash Course or Canon R6/R5 Crash Course
Use code: MA25OFF

Save 25% off my Sony A6100/A6400/A6600 Crash Course
Use Code: MAA600025

Save 25% off my Fuji X-T3/X-T4 Crash Course
Use Code: MAXT3425

I have an extremely limited number of 3 Stop Grad ND filters. They literally just arrived and are the highest performing grad filters I have ever tested, even comparing with the big brand names. 1 per customer only please, and on a first come first serve basis. See image below for how they are used MAVEN Grad ND Filter for $99 ($175 regular price)
Use Code: MAGRAD99

I’m also giving away my Lighting Crash Course for FREE!
Use code: MALCCFREE

If you have any issues, please email us at support(at)michaelthemaven.com and we will be happy to help you out!

PS- If there is any other course or product you are interested in, email us at the above email and we will likely offer you a 25% off on those courses/products/filters as well!
The 3 Stop Grad ND filter will allow you to shoot sunsets and horizons in one shot, no need for bracketing or HDR type images. Its one of my best secrets!

11.19.20         movie reviews  

Blue Thunder


This one is on Amazon Prime. Absolute classic from the 80's. I haven't seen it since I was a kid and I just loved it even more this time around. Plenty of action (and FYI warning, nudity in the beginning). Highly recommended!

11.01.20         netflix  

Queens Gambit - Netflix


Fictional story of an orphan, addict, chess prodigy. I thought it was very, very good! There are some wonderful animations about how a chess player can visualize and run different sequences in their minds eye. Its a real thing and can be developed with practice. In fact blindfolded chess masters often say seeing something physically messes up their ability to do this. If you love chess like I do- this is a homerun.

10.31.20         movie reviews  

The Honest Thief


Absolutely Terrible! Avoid at all costs. Boring and predictable.

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