Archive for March, 2004

Review: Sarah McLachlan – Afterglow

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

With only 10 songs on this album, you’d better make every single one count. Imagine my toes curling when at least half of them are the dreaded boring kind of lullabies. I bet my neighbours, who have the same type of wireless headphones as me, wouldn’t mind me playing this album every night around 11 or 12 (I can hear theirs when their base station is on and mine is off, so they can hear mine the same way too).
The other half of the bulk does have the power to make my head sway a bit, but that’s as far as it goes. Sure, she can sing, with a Dido-like voice (or maybe Dido has Sarah-like voice), but she’s definitely singing without soul. And without that, you can’t stay longer than a week on my permanent playlist. So, without the burning light in the first place, you can’t really say this has been an afterglow.4½.

Review: Monster

Monday, March 15th, 2004

Usually, a “based on a true story” movie should be taken with a pinch of salt. But this time, with writer/director Patty Jenkins spending years of research, and a few more years of correspondence with the woman in question, once can trust that what is shown is pretty much close to the truth. The result is the gritty reality, right in your face.
Directed in an explanatory fashion, you gain some understanding, and along some sympathy, while not losing sight of the bigger picture. It’s not all black and white.
Conveying the feelings, emotions and intentions across the screen are Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci. Both play their roles so convincingly, your heart sinks in while the tragedy plays out on screen. (With Charlize almost unrecognizable, with 30 pounds gained for this role)
I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone wanting to have an entertaining night out with friends, because you will come out with a long face, that’s for sure. But as a “stick to the truth, what’s behind the killer” experience, this can’t get any more real.7½.

Review: Lionel Richie – Just for You

Monday, March 15th, 2004

Having released SEVERAL “Best of” albums in the past few years (just to name a few: Millennium Collection, Truly: The Love Songs, The Definitive Collection, Encore), here it finally is. A new album. Just like you’ve expected. The same kind of sound you’ve become accustomed to. Very easy listening, sometimes a bit poppy. Added to that are a few overly themic contemporary beats (the ones I don’t like).
So, if it’s all the same, is this really new ? I guess not. With no surprises at all to be found, it doesn’t really make a dent, with the risk of being totally forgotten before it has time to grow on you (with over a week of listening, I can assure you that’s exactly what is going to happen).6-.

US Box Office

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Hail Mel, his movie is on top of the box office for a third week. A $31.7 million sesh makes the total a whopping $264 million, well on its way to beat LotR: Return of the King.
Second was Secret Window, a thriller starring Johnny Depp, with $19 million. 80-ties stars Starsky & Hutch still doing well with $16 million, good for nr. 3. Hidalgo isn’t as big an adventure as the trailer shows us, stuck at 4 with $11.7 million. Agent Cody Bank 2 isn’t as cute as he used to be either. A lacklustre $8 million for this premiere on nr. 5, showing a run that’s probably not enough to cover the movie’s budget.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Rate 1 (FR#^&% MESS !) to 5 (how very tidy !). Only rate the latest picture, otherwise I can’t keep track of the average.

Total: 1014 out of 291 votes > Average is: 3.485

desk pic

Review: Honey

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

A typical feel-good movie with a lot of cliches on the side. The setting this time is da hood (New York), and the theme is dancing. Headlining the moves is former Dark Angel Jessica Alba, leaving all the acting and ass-kicking behind. As a dancer, she’s very convincing. As an upcoming movie star, that’s a whole other story. Of course, the script doesn’t lend itself to that, so, all you have left is a long MTV music video interspersed with mostly Rodney Jerkins penned hip-hop beats. With a background in pop/R&B/hip-hop and more, and having a track record of at least a couple of dozens of hit songs under his belt, there’s always a few tunes hitting the correct note. Come for the music and Jessica’s moves, and you’re okay. Come for a full-fledged movie, and you’re in danger. Anyway you wanna see it, at least Missy Elliott’s cameo is a blast.6.

Review: Runaway Jury

Friday, March 12th, 2004

The usual suspense thriller with a twist. There have been courtroom thrillers before, but this one starts with the jury selection. Somewhat of a psychological warfare has ensues from there. Seeing how all the jury members get profiled and predicted keeps the movie going, and instead of the traditional evidence which might or might not be seen, you get to see how subtle manipulations work out. The acting is intense enough, though the characters are still one dimensional, however detailed their personalities may be. The directing and editing are also up to par.7½.


Thursday, March 11th, 2004

Nokia will be releasing software for blogging on their mobile phones somewhere this summer. The first phone to get a cut down version of LifeBlog 1.0 is the 6620. Other series will follow soon. The cut down version will have some limits that can be removed with a 30 bucks upgrade. And of course, even more money has to be spend, as you have to have a phone connected to your computer now.
So, as if I didn’t put enough nonsense here already, let me simulate my new 6620 with LifeBlog 1.0 :

22-06-04 @ 07:40:58 – Testing testing 1 2 3 …

22-06-04 @ 07:41:34 – Testing again. Does this work ?

22-06-04 @ 07:42:13 – Oh my god, I just missed my FR#(%*#)(*% BUS !! I’ll have to wait another 30 minutes now. And I was SO intent on being on time at work today.

22-06-04 @ 08:21:08 – Holy goodness, I was just pushed off the sidewalk a few seconds ago. The rudeness ! (I really should learn how to stand up for myself, that girl was only 1.60m tall)

22-06-04 @ 09:53:39 – My phone at work is crackling a bit. I wonder if it’s the circuitry, or just the cable from the phone to the handset, or the cable from the phone to the outlet, or the cable from the outlet to the main PBX.

22-06-04 @ 13:03:27 – Man, the lunch at the cafeteria was fantastic. For once. In a long time. Though I’m sure they microwaved the chicken sate, which made the peanut sauce somewhat dry.

22-06-04 @ 13:04:58 – Where the HELL is my Snickers (or Twix, for that matter) ? I’m sure I threw one in my backpack this morning, as I’ll die from hunger without an after-lunch snack. I think I’ll steal a chocolate bar from my colleague.

22-06-04 @ 14:50:03 – Dang, I’m tired, I’m gonna take a nap in the back of the warehouse. I hope nobody notices.

22-06-04 @ 16:59:59 – My boss left an hour ago. Give me a good reason why I should stay, when I’ve worked my ass off today already. Besides, he’s never gonna find out anywayz. Laterzall.

No, don’t worry, I’m not planning on buying a new Nokia, nor am I planning on buying expensive software. Relieved ?


Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

How many DVD’s do ya own ? Apparently not enough. It’s the UK winning with a whopping 3 billion euros spent in 2003. Netherlands has a lousy 450 million euros, far behind other foreign languages like France (1.7 billion) and Germany (960 million). What the poor VHS tried so hard for in 20 years, the DVD will do it in 10 (in 2007, 2 out of 3 household). I pity the fool working in a video replication plant.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

Rate 1 (FR#^&% MESS !) to 5 (how very tidy !). Only rate the latest picture, otherwise I can’t keep track of the average.

Total: 1011 out of 290 votes > Average is: 3.486

desk pic


Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

Sometimes, somehow, Google is still a mystery. Ever tried the related command ? Well, this link will do that with this page. (Either use the search key related:your_homepage_url, or use the advanced options, fill in second to last line)
First hit is iSketch. What in heaven’s name ? That page is flash based, so it doesn’t even share the tiniest bit of source code. Are you mystified, or am I ? Why don’t you try yours.

US Box Office

Monday, March 8th, 2004

At the box office, everybody kept its faith, as Passion accumulated some $200+ million already. Still at number one in its second week, with $51.4 million. This weeks biggest premiere was for the Ben Stiller starring comedy remake Starsky & Hutch, with $29.1 million. Number 3 spot is Viggo Mortensen switching his horse from The Return of the King to a new one with a name. Now riding on the back of Hidalgo, he pockets $19.6 million.

Review: Sweepstakes

Monday, March 8th, 2004

With the February sweepstakes over, I can honestly say, that there were no highlights, unlike the last November sweepstakes. Let’s recap:

Traffic: The miniseries – Aired in January, and on cable, technically, it has nothing to do with the sweepstakes. But it’s the only memorable series. Being a 6 hour miniseries, it doesn’t really start kicking in during the second hour. The story then still seems a bit boring, but the way of storytelling, and how it combines the seperate storylines keeps it interesting. From the producer of 24, you can see some similarities, and that’s not a bad thing. In the end, you feel it’s a full story with enough depth and content worth every penny of the cable subscription.

CSI (up to 416) – Continuing with seperate standalone stories, and second to none involving personal matters, it’s good at what it’s doing. But it could be so much better. While there have been better times with darker, more personal styled episodes with a touch of a longer story arch, one can only hope for a return.

Smallville (up to 316) – Weird to say this, but somehow the stories seem a bit far fetched and out of character, it’s still the B stories that count. Again, with short periods where both the A and B stories were rock solid, one can only hope they’ll be back soon.

Navy NCIS (up to 115) – Half a season done, it’s clear where this series will be heading. Another standalone type. And again, it could be so much better. With a more than a handfull of episodes already, and you still don’t know the characters at all. Trying to keep it lighthearted, with jokes and one liners flying around, there seems to be nothing that much at stake everytime. But still, it’s fun enough to keep watching.

24 (up to 314) – With a good start, the second quarter seemed a bit off. Somehow, it seemed like there wasn’t enough at stake, both overall and personal. Now well past its first half I can see a clear rebound, and I’m certain I’ll be glued to the chair till this day is over again.

Enterprise (up to 317) – With the last review saying I saw improvement, I can honestly say I almost forgot what the last two episodes were about. So it’s a safe bet those were probably another pair of recycled stories with a lot of cliches.

Tru Calling (up to 112) – While you can see the last few episodes are finally trying to be a bit different, the character development is still slow. Just a few more episodes, and I will know for certain if this series will make it or break it.

Review: Seabiscuit

Friday, March 5th, 2004

A tiny drama based on a real story, executed very well by second time helmer Gary Ross, who also worked on the screenplay. A slow beginning is necessary, and parts in between seems a bit slow too. But in the end, you get attached enough to care what really happened. Not only do you get a piece of American history, you also get see what impact just one horse had in that time. The drama part doesn’t overtake the story, and thus keeps a good balance with reality, and the acting makes it all worth it if you don’t care much for a history lesson.7+.

Dumb dumb dumb

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

You’ve heard me laugh my ass off with the current batch of worms distributed within zip files, as it requieres four clicks to be infected. But now, the Bagle.J worm goes even further. It has a password protected zip file, which flies past the mail server/gateway anti-virus scanners (by default, any virusscanner will ignore password protected zip files, most because it doesn’t even know the password). As it’s already spreading at a fast pace, I can conclude that stupidty is unlimited. Next up…I’m gonna write a virus/worm that will get you infected if you follow the following instructions: Jump up and down 7 times, then do a breakdance while drinking a hot cup of tea. If only everybody had a webcam connected and stream ready, I could really have a good time.