Home Renovation Tips to Enhance Your Movie-Watching Experience

Movies take you to a beautiful world and make you forget the drudgery of ordinary life. If you are a movie-lover, you will understand the importance of watching a beautiful movie. And, you will realize the fact that regular visits to the local movie theatre take a toll on your monthly budget. It can become a costly affair if you consider the money that you spend on tickets, popcorn and other snacks. So, what’s the affordable alternative to a movie theatre? It is your home.

It is a better idea to watch a good flick in the comfort of your home. You can eat whatever you want and wear whatever you like. You can make your movie-watching experience personal and save money in the process.

Is your Home ready?

If you want to enhance your movie-watching experience, you have to make your home ready for it. Here are a few home renovation tips that will enable you to create a home theatre effortlessly:

· Know where to sit

Your home may have several rooms. But, select the room that will provide you with a real movie theatre ambience. The room should be large enough to accommodate your loved ones. Decide the location of the couch. If you want to convert your bedroom into a home theatre, you can use the bed as the sitting area. When you decide a place for the couch or the bed, make sure that the area enjoys the best sound frequency.

· Position your Speakers properly

When it comes to enhancing the movie-watching experience, speakers are important. The front speakers should face the center of the room. It is ideal to place them in the corners. Alternatively, you can position them towards the chair or couch.

You must place the center speakers above the television. If you have purchased surround speakers, you can put them near the sitting area. Be ready to conduct small experiments in order to find out the perfect angle and the spot for the speakers.

· Consider Acoustic Panels

It is practical to have acoustic panels for your windows especially if they are made out of glass. Glass is a terrible option for a home theatre because the material messes with the audio. Install acoustic panels as they aid you in creating an exact movie theatre ambience. If you find acoustic panels expensive, opt for pre-owned panels that are available at affordable rates.

· Soundproof the Room

It is fun to watch a movie with speakers on blast. But, you have to remember that you are watching the movie in your home. And, sound will travel to other rooms. So, be considerate to other people by sound-proofing the room. You can ask a home renovation contractor to install sound-proofing drywall or acoustically engineered drywall in the room.

· Switch on the Lights

People turn off the lights while watching movies in their rooms. But it is not advisable because watching a movie in a pitch-dark room can cause strain to the eyes. So, it is necessary to switch on a few lights. Buy small wall-mounted lights and place them strategically in the room. The light will not only create a feel of a movie theatre but will also prevent you from stumbling in the dark.

Creating a movie theatre ambience in your home is not a difficult task. But, you must hire a home renovation contractor to transform your ideas into a reality. He will consider your ideas and provide you with practical solutions to build a home theatre. In order to enhance your movie-watching experience, consult an experienced contractor and review his work before making a hiring decision.

“From Up on Poppy Hill” Movie Review

“From Up on Poppy Hill” is the new family-friendly film from Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”) and son Goro Miyazaki. The animated feature film is a beautifully hand-drawn story of two high school kids falling in love in a Japanese seaside town during the 1960s while the country was rebuilding after World War II. The appeal of a universal love story set during this fascinating time in history is compelling enough to entertain viewers of all ages.

Shun and Umi, the movie’s hero and heroine respectively, are growing up in Yokohama in 1963. Their budding romance grows in a small town while the rest of the country is focused on the upcoming 1964 Olympics to be held in Tokyo. Miyazaki creates a nostalgic feel that audiences will relate to as if they too grew up in the hilly town. Everything in the film rings true, from the details of the architecture and vehicles of the time to the intense feelings of the young characters.

Umi is a high school junior watching over her two younger siblings while her mother is absent. The resourceful young woman must be two parents for her siblings as their father died during the Korean War. Their mother is studying aboard, leaving Umi to watch over the kids and pitch in at the boarding house run by her grandmother. Fans of “The Tudors” may recognize the voice of Irish actress Sarah Bolger in the English version. Masami Nagasawa does the Japanese voice acting for Umi.

The audience meets the film’s hero Shun when Umi answers a question he placed in the school’s newspaper. Every morning, Umi runs two signal flags up a flagpole, an action that catches Shun’s attention. He asks who the girl is sending “thoughts to the sky,” and eventually Umi goes to the newspaper office to answer in person. The two recognize their instant chemistry, but in the polite and modest tone of the film take their time exploring their attraction. When an obstacle gets in the way of their love, the young couple must deal with the consequences of a buried secret that threatens to force them apart.

Hayao Miyazaki brings some of the storytelling magic viewers saw in “Spirited Away” to this new film co-written with Keiko Niwa. Goro Miyazaki directs, not his Oscar-winning father, but you can see influences in Goro Miyazaki’s style. “From Up on Poppy Hill” draws viewers into the beautifully constructed world Miyazaki creates, a rare ability that his father also possesses. Viewers won’t see the element of fantasy the elder Miyazaki is known for, but they will enjoy how deeply they are brought into the realistic story of Shun and Umi.

The brilliance of the film lies in the theme of change as the country’s past and future clash, while the past creates an obstacle for the kids’ future together. Japan is moving into a new era as it recovers from World War II and invites the world to visit for the Olympics, yet the director’s desire to hold onto some of Japan’s traditions and past is also clearly shown. This theme is most exemplified in a bold action by Shun, who jumps off the roof of a Meiji-era building in protest of the school’s desire to tear it down and replace it with a modern construction. Shun is punished for his action, but Umi respects it, and it is part of what draws them to each other. Shun’s efforts to save the building echo the director’s message that the past must be respected and remembered. Miyazaki’s passion and brilliance succeed in convincing the audience. The character of Shun is voiced by Anton Yelchin in the English version. Junichi Okada performs the Japanese voice acting.

The mood of the film is one of optimism and hope, which is enhanced by the film’s music. The pop music is sweet and matches the innocence of the main characters, but like the story itself, the music contains important messages delivered in an entertaining medium. The soundtrack includes a classic hit from 1963, “Sukiyaki,” a decision that is not surprising considering the meticulous efforts of the director to stay true to the film’s timeframe.

Also true to that point in history is the conflict that was felt everywhere in 1963. Shun and Umi experience conflict in their relationship and conflict in their fight to prevent the destruction of the building known as the Latin Quarter. The determination and bravery the children show may inspire many young viewers.

From Up on Poppy Hill” is the first collaboration for father and son, but it feels like the two are longtime partners in filmmaking.

Let’s Go to the Movies!

The family room is one of the more fun rooms in the home to redecorate. All of the family members can have input into the decorating process and even have a part of the room that is theirs. One of the reasons that the family room is fun to redecorate is that the room can be themed. And the theme can be anything the family agrees on. There are ways to reflect almost any theme chosen-from music to animals to space.

Since the room probably already has a television set in it and is probably where most of the family TV watching is done, why not make the room into a home version of a movie theater? With such a theme, the decorating ideas will come fast and furious. Since the “theater screen” will be the focus of everyone’s attention, this feature should get a lot of thought and planning. Could you install a full wall-size screen with an overhead projection system hung from the ceiling? The control panel for the audio and video could be installed in a wall and accessed with remote control devices. If such an arrangement is not feasible, purchase the largest screen TV that you can afford that will fit the room spatially.

Since lots of people will use the room from time-to-time-family members, adult guests, kids’ sleepovers, etc-you will want to have plenty of seating. Reclining chairs, comfortable couches, reclining love seats will all make viewing more enjoyable. Arrange the seating so that everyone has a view of the screen. If the seating can have receptacles for drinks, etc so much the better.

The walls can be decorated with large playbill movie ads of family-favorite movies. At the entrance to the room you can have a wallboard with removable type that has space for messages and texts. The “movie of the week” can be captioned or the name of the person having a birthday party in the room.

If you have space in the room, you can add a small sink and a small refrigerator for handling snacks and pop. You can purchase one of the small home-size popcorn makers and serve up hot popcorn in theater type bags.

This will be an “active” room and spills and accidents will be inevitable. Plan for this eventuality with stain resistant, scratch resistant hardwood flooring. To make the room cozy and the floor warm for sleeping bags and blankets, put down area rugs. The rugs can be printed or woven in designs that match the movie theater theme. Angle the rugs or group them for interest. Large throw pillows can be scattered about for additional seating or napping. Some pillows can be grouped on one of the area rugs to make a small center for games or a reading area.

Because a lot of movies will be shown in this room, the window coverings need to be so dense that all outside light can be filtered out. The room lighting needs to be adjustable from “off” to “bright.” When the movie screen isn’t on and people want to play cards or games or read, the lighting should accommodate. Individual footlocker type storage chests could hold games or books or activities for various family members and each member could decorate their own “treasure chest.” A bookcase with shelves and doors could hold videos, CD’s, games, cards, etc.

Since the room is very informal and used for a variety of purposes, color-coordinated walls and area rugs and furniture are not as important as in some other rooms in the home. What is important is that everyone feels comfortable in this area and that they are not afraid to “live” in this space. To that end, have furniture, lamps, rugs, and furnishings that are durable and cleanable.

How neat would it be for Mom to say, “It’s time to go to the movie”? And everyone follows the aroma of freshly popped popcorn into the next room, just in time to catch the house lights going down and the movie sound track coming up.