Thursday, January 15, 2015

And the Oscar goes to ...

With the Oscar nominations coming out today, it gave me a little inspiration to jot down the movies I have seen this year, and make an attempt to rank them on how much I enjoyed them. Even after seeing 36 films this year, I still only managed to see two films that ended up with Best Picture nominations. Part of the issue is the lack of a true art theater in my area, as the big chains tend to put independent films on short runs, one screening per day, usually before 7:00 pm. It is a miracle if I hit the theater before 9:00 pm, and seven of the movies below were midnight showings. Fewer crying babies and phone surfers at midnight showings.

The Academy validated my thoughts on my two favorite movies from 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood. Seeing they only filled eight of the ten available nomination slots for Best Picture, I do think they overlooked Interstellar. I was sure this was the year of Tilda Swinton, as she had a flawless performance in Only Lovers Left Alive, and a small part as a lonely heiress in The Grand Budapest Hotel. But alas, no nominations. The role that should have landed her a nod was in Lovers, and Jim Jarmusch should have been given a Best Director nod too. So in the absence of any nominations for Tilda, I'll wholeheartedly throw my support behind the best supporting actress role of Meryl Streep, which had the most memorable performance of the year singing "Stay With Me" in Into the Woods. It was perfection.

Below are the roughly 36 feature films I saw in 2014, listed in order of affection. I have a feeling I missed a few. But I guess if they were more memorable, I wouldn't forget them, right?

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Under the Skin
Guardians of the Galaxy
Only Lovers Left Alive
Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
The Lego Movie

John Wick
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The November Man
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Heaven Is for Real
The Fault in Our Stars
That Awkward Moment

If I Stay
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
X-Men: Days of Future Past
God's Not Dead
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Into the Woods
Dumb and Dumber To
Edge of Tomorrow
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Million Dollar Arm
I, Frankenstein
Palo Alto
The Nut Job
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The Boxtrolls

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nexus 7 (2013) auto-rotate fix

Guess what happened three days after the end of my 1 year warranty on my Nexus 7? Auto-rotate stopped working. Restart would reorient the screen to portrait, but the only way my Nexus 7 2013 (Lollipop 5.0.1) would flip to landscape was if an app forced it into landscape. Then it took a restart to get it back to portrait.

Researched online and started with downloading "Check My Android" app from the Play Store. ran the sensor diagnostic and found out sensors 1,5, and 7 were not functioning. This includes the accelerometer that reorients the screen. All indications were a hardware issue, out of warranty. I had seen the video of cracking open the back and placing a shim or tape over the ribbon cable, but decided to try everything I could before cracking open the back. And I found something simple that worked for me, and led me to believe this may not be a hardware issue at all.

The process that worked for me ... 

1) Go into settings under Accessibility, and turn off auto-rotate
2) Power down and restart your Nexus, 
3) Go back into settings under Accessibility, and turn auto-rotate back on

Magically, it is back to normal. I even immediately ran my sensor diagnostics and sensors 1, 5, and 7 are all back online. Hope it prevents someone else from cracking open their Nexus too.