I rated Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) 4/10 #IMDb


Exactly what you’d expect. More of the same vampires vs vampires vs werewolves fast action fighting and feuding.

Not dreadful, just not remarkable, or new. The cast do a good job of filling the scenes. The dialog offers convincing noises for their mouths moving. There’re guns, knives, blood, and guts and lots of crusty-like werewolves and black-clad vampires. Oh and fighting. Lots of fighting.


I rated Manchester by the Sea (2016) 8/10 #IMDb


Beautifully shot. I’d like to move to Manchester tomorrow on the basis of the cinematography.

A tale of real-seeming people coming to terms with the aftermath of death, life, and the day to day of trying to get on.

Great performances all round. The venal solipsism and carnal desires of teens offer some amusing and uncomfortable light relief at times. And the difficulty of facing past events creates some credible awkwardness between the characters.

It is slow going at times but the occasional aimless-seeming real-time footage offers a chance to recover from some of the tougher times. And here and there we get some beautiful music in the soundtrack.

Well worth seeing but expect it to be closer to the pace of real life than an action flick.

I rated A Monster Calls (2016) 9/10 #IMDb


A tragic tale of deception, honesty, fantasy, and fear.

You can read the summary elsewhere. For me the portrayal of emotion in this film was remarkable. Some of the scenes are typical and predictable but the monster scenes and the scenes of the boy’s turmoil were excellent.

The monster’s tales were superb. Both in their animation and in their rich messages: life is to be lived, people are complex, everything is lived in shades of grey, etc

You’ll very likely weep with empathy or sympathy. Take some tissues. To avoid weeping see my footnote*.

Sigourney Weaver does a good job of being a stern ‘gran’ and has a surprisingly calm reaction to some quite traumatic events. Though her accent is a bit ‘proper’ for the setting.

Unsure if any boy’s bedroom looks like this boy’s bedroom has been imagined.

Liam Neeson is great as the monster suitably threatening and yet reassuring.

*my daughter did not cry at all. She claimed one thought stopped her: that the monster’s face was very similar to that of Groot from guardians of the galaxy. And all she could think during the monster scenes was ‘I am Groot’.

I rated Assassin’s Creed (2016) 4/10 #IMDb


Possibly the best video game to movie adaptation I’ve seen. It has some slick action sequences and some impressive battle and inquisition pieces. Its lack of a real story lets it down. The repetition of scenes in the ‘animus’ and the over-reliance on fancy visual effects add to the burden of style over substance. These qualities combined with its perceived running time of about 3.5 hours make it a movie to avoid. Will the curse ever be broken?

Lightroom, NAS, and the problem of the ? volume

NASs are great. MacOS is great. But bad things happen.

I keep my RAW files on a Synology NAS. When both MacOS and Synology’s DSM OS updated about the same time there were a few hiccoughs with the NAS volumes remounting with different volume IDs. e.g. photo would remount as photo-1, photo-2, etc. Since I have smart previews on my collections and I was sorting the picks from the rejects I didn’t pay much attention. Uh oh. Seems that somehow the majority of my catalog has paths to its images that use one of the odd volume IDs: photo-964. This long blah is my story of how I fixed this enough to at least work with my originals.


Some background

I moved to Lightroom CC from Aperture near the end of 2015. It was a tough move. Aperture still has so many great features. But Lightroom is supported and keeps getting better. It also handles referenced photos on network drives with more stability. Or at least it did until OS X Sierra + Synology had a hiccough. It’s all sorted now, but I’m left with the legacy of that moment of awkwardness. A volume and its folders with most of my images in. Now this does not affect using the Smart Previews in the collections I’ve created. But it does make it impossible for Lightroom to locate the originals without help.



I tried ‘Find Missing Folder…’

The usual approach for fixing this kind of problem is to right-click on the missing folders or volumes and “Find Missing Folder…”. Not so here. Trying that with the missing Volume getsscreen-shot-2017-01-03-at-14-10-20 Well indeed, ‘a source is required to change a folder location’?!?


I tried creating a symbolic link to the original folder

You might already have seen in the folder hierarchy snip that the Volume does not seem to be missing – no “?” over its icon. That’s the result of an earlier attempt to fix this. I figured that if the Volume appeared to be missing I could create a directory in /Volumes with the right name and use a symbolic link to point it towards the /Volumes/photo-1 SMB volume. It seems not. While it resolved the “?” appearing I perhaps mangled the syntax. I used all these commands as administrator while in the directory “/Volumes”.

mkdir /Volumes/photo-964 [to give something to link to]

ln -s /Volumes/photo photo-964 [to point the link to the source]

I tried a few ways to delete the symbolic link photo-964. As a directory, deleting it was a bit trickier than I expected.

I really did not want to try

rmdir -Rf photo-964

Eventually, I cut the network connection and just dragged the directory photo-964 to the trash. A bit of administrator authentication and it was gone. Reconnecting to the NAS produced no problems. Except for being back where I started.


I used better symbolic link syntax

Come to think of it, the syntax I should have used is perhaps

ln -s /Volumes/photo/ photo-964

so that the symbolic link pointed to the content of the volume rather than the volume itself.

In the end I used

ln -sFfv /Volumes/photo/ photo-964

This created a symbolic link directory that points to exactly the same content on the SMB volume as the original “photo” volume.

Great! Problem solved. Lightroom should now look for /Volumes/photo-964 and find that the volume exists. And it should also find that the content of photo-964/ matches what it expected!

No. While the folder hierarchy no longer has any “?” marks, Lightroom stills says “Invalid Path Representation”.screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-28-13


Trying “Update Folder Location” brings up a great finder dialog box showing exactly the right folder. But choosing that folder gives the traditional
“…internal error…”. Bah!screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-14-10-20


Trying to create a new folder within photo-964 gives a different kind of error screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-42-18


And yet, Lightroom finds the Original files

But what was interesting was when I clicked on a  photo in a collection. Lightroom found the original!


Progress. Of a sort. And sufficient for now as I can edit my smart previews and export full-res images for use elsewhere. Not that this is one of those great RAW files. But it is an OK scan of an old print and it does show “Original + Smart Preview” in Develop.

Looking forward to resolving this permanently somehow.


I rated Passengers (2016) 7/10 #IMDb


Saw it in 3D. It added nothing except a dimmer screen.

Eerie, creepy, romantic, heartbreaking, perilous, deadly, delightful. This is a sci-fi love story with a bit of deep space adventure, danger, tragedy, and thrills.

My 12-year-old thought it a bit romantic at times. And there were some ‘passionate’ moments that caused some squirming. Nonetheless, the emphasis is on falling in love, being in love, being betrayed, and the aftermath. And at the same time there’s some fun with Michael sheen as the android bartender as well as deep space peril from a meteor storm.

Well put together, calmly paced where it matters, and only a bit preposterous this is a neat love story in space with a bit of action thrown in.

Not sure about space swimsuits, but the gravity-free swimming pool peril is terrifying. As is the holed storeroom. Some brilliant bits in an overall good fun movie.

Worth watching…in 2D.

I rated Moana (2016) 7/10 #IMDb


The best Disney princess movie yet.

I saw it in 2D.

Despite it being a musical, only 1 song, well perhaps 1.5 songs are a bit limp. The crab song and the grandma’s reprise. Even then, they help the story along.

Moana has some great numbers and works well as a character balancing her responsibilities as future chief and her interest in adventure. ‘No one goes beyond the reef’. Oh yes they do. And with some real verve.

Maui the demigod does a fine supporting job and adds some comic relief, pathos, and action beyond Moana’s own exploits.

Well worth watching.