Archive for September, 2004

Review: Collateral

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

Another intense suspense thriller worth watching. When Michael Mann is behind the camera, you usually get above average insight in the characters. Exactly so with Tom Cruise’s first bad guy role, a vicious ruthless killer. Like all his previous roles, he plays it with utter conviction, leaving no room for doubting his acting abilities. Same goes for Jamie Foxx, playing the sharp yet uncertain cab driver at the wrong place at the wrong time. This strict storyline with minimal branching always has a sense of suspense going on, and the dialogue in the cab adds depth. And while it may feel slow here and there, overall it’s intense enough to recommend this to the general public.8-.

Review: Jack and Bobby 101 – 103

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

A new show on the WB. While we’ve come to know what kinda of drama series they’ve been churning out over the years, this one is definitely a surprise. From the same Berlanti/Liddell/Taylor team that brought us Everwood, comes this quite ingenious idea of showing two brothers (and a very determined mother) in present day, of which one will become the future President. Interspersed are interview sections from the year 2046, talking about a multitude of subjects concerning the President, and how he got there. While the outline is seems far fetched, the present day showings seem more grounded, hence enhancing the drama. How the dialogue and complicated character interaction evolve, makes Everwood look like a superficial drama. Also helping, is of course the outstanding acting of Christine Lahti’s mother character (Chicago Hope), and relatively newcomers Matt Long and Logan Lerman (The Butterfly Effect) as brothers. As a small family, it alsmost packs the same punch as a fellow bigger family first season series in trouble, Party of Five. But the higher educational topics (the mother is a college professor) combined with the political flash forwards, while making it all the more interesting, don’t bode well on the teen focused network, and I fear a slow death for a great series on its maiden voyage.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Tuesday, September 28th, 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: 1192 out of 364 votes > Average is: 3.275

desk pic

US Box Office

Sunday, September 26th, 2004

Julianne Moore/Anthony Edwards starrer The Forgotten didn’t stop people from remembering to see it, earning $22 million.
At number two, as expected, a significant drop for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, with $6.7 million. Dropping along is Mr. 3000, this week’s third takes in $5 million.
The premiere of Forest Whitaker’s directed First Daughter takes in $4 million, tying it with third week Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Cellular is at nr. 5 with $3.7 million.

It just makes sense…

Sunday, September 26th, 2004

… or does it ?
The first half, is of course the new tagline from Philip’s new Sense and Simplicity worldwide ad campaign, dropping the decade old Let’s Make Things Better. Apparently, all is better and can’t be made any better. That’s a good sign.
But the ad campaign itself is somewhat puzzling. We have the TV sets, the DVD recorders, and the tooth brushes. Then you have a 3D Ultrasound (the size of a bulky PC from the eighties), and a CT scanner which would fill a small living room. Who are they trying to impress ? The already tight health care budget ? The consumer sure as hell won’t buy one.
Then there’s one last item I’m wondering about. The Heart Start Home Defribillator. If the price was suitable, would you buy one ? So you can shock the ones in need when a cardiac arrest arrises ? (In my case, I’d have to shock myself when I’m down. If that’s possible, then it must be true, Philips really can’t make it any better).

Review: The Terminal

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

Another Spielberg/Hanks collaboration, which often result in fine end products, and even if they screw up, they’re still satisfying. So also this one. The movie takes off just fine (a foreign playing Tom Hanks just begs for sympathy), and the economy class flight is also fine (topically figuratively speaking, of course). No high points, no deeper meaning, no controversial topics. Just a crazy idea worked out to a full soft comedy/drama script. Acting is done just fine, and the direction is done with experienced technical skills. During the landing however, the plane somehow outruns the landing strip by a few miles (again, figuratively speaking), because the long stretched ending bears nothing extra except the predictable. All in all, a fine product for light entertainment.7+.


Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

I’m taking the term proofREADING a bit literally lately. Due to Opera’s (a web browser, currently version 7.60 beta) ability to read text, I’m putting it to the test on my weblog entries now and then. And see, I even caught the first error by listening to myself. (And now you might think I can’t get enough of myself, well, you think correctly)



Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

Of all people, ME, THE (self-knighted) crusader for free (and more free) stuff, finally gets a gmail account (all I had to do was beat up an old lady after I hacked into her normal e-mail account and forced her to invite me), when almost all computer illiterates already have one. Now I can finally join the interesting conversations.
“Yow Tienz, how many invitations do you still have left ?”
“Me gots zero, as I just started out today.”
Clearly, DON’T start bidding for a gmail account yet. (Not that I would’ve taken any bids worth less than 1000 euros seriously anywayz)
So, start mailing me at my nickname @ gmail . com as mailing myself gets boring after a while.

Review: Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten

Monday, September 20th, 2004

Another offspring of the “sister-of”-syndrome. With only one solid hit in the open, it is, as always, an exciting experience to find out if the whole album is filled with potential hits, are that you’ve heard the only one already.
The album is filled with poppy songs and a few ballads. The positive thing is her tendency to play with the tempo on most of her songs adds a layer of freshness to it.
The bad things however, overshadow the good stuff. For instance (having seen some pretty admirable live performances), her voice is powerful, but on the slower ballads, the timbre is unstable. Her voice is shaky when reaching the higher tones. Then there’s the freshness that wears off after the second or third round of listening to the album. Also, the hooks on the other songs don’t have the same positive spin as These Words. They even lean to the negative side, making longevity an impossibility. The fourth round of listening will be a trying task. Combined with the uninteresting topics and lyrics, some nine songs will end in the trash bin very soon. (The tenth being the title song, which might have a shot at the charts, but not reaching the same heights as her first hit). This deserves a grade just for the effort.5-.

US Box Office

Sunday, September 19th, 2004

While trying to save the world from giant robots on a blue screen, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow opened with $16.2 million. While saving on furniture and set design (all of the film was shot on a soundstage with blue screens), the special effects still pushed the budget to $70 million. A mark that might not reached if the movie loses audience at a normal pace (a weekly 40-50% decline).
Second was comedian Bernie Mac starrer Mr. 3000 with $9.2 million. Not so resident after all, is a drop to number 3 for Resident Evil: Apocalypse, with $9 million.
Wimbledon is clearly wasted on the Americans, as it takes in $7.8 million, good for only a fourth place. Cellular drops to number 5 with $6.9 million.

Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Saturday, September 18th, 2004

Describing this movie anything less than stellar wouldn’t do it justice. And this includes acting, directing and writing. Easily being one of the smartest script of this year, the movie is somewhat poetic, yet grounded to reality. Inner thoughts and emotions entwined with witty dialogue make it compelling with the director keeping it interesting on screen with subtle tricks. While the movie focuses mainly on one relationship, it branches out to a few more complications, which are luckily, just as interesting.
Some people wait for that gem that only comes by only a few times a year. With certainty I can tell you this is it. A definite must-see.9-.

Review: Joey 101 – 102

Friday, September 17th, 2004

The very first (unaired) pilot didn’t look too bright, when of course, you missed the other five crazy characters you’ve grown accustomed to. Then the aired pilot switched the wonderful (albeit somewhat stiff) Ashley Scott for the totally unknown Andrea Anders (budget reasons ?) with her fake-ish smile. While the story was pretty streamlined, it didn’t have the same impact as a random Friends episode. The second episode, luckily, showed improvement, with more punchy dialogue and faster cutting packing more jokes per time-packet. With only 4 character though, they will never get the 30+ million viewers back, but for now, they’re at least on the way to grab at least half of them.


Thursday, September 16th, 2004

This time a special, the K-ooking K-uiz edition.

1. My unique mashed potato recipe, is done with:
a. semi-fresh microwave stuff. Saves time !
b. The real deal, fresh, boiled to perfectious crumblety.
c. Instant powder. Water, stir, ready !

2. My favorite combo to flavour everything (from veggies, to meat):
a. mustard/mayo
b. ketchup/vinegar
c. honey/thyme
d. soy-sauce/sesame-oil

3. Which one reaches the highest temperature:
a. butter
b. olive oil
c. water

This icon will indicate if I have answered the K-uestions yet status

How Messy is it at my Work Today ?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

Rate 1 (sucks) to 5 (cool). Only rate the latest pictures, otherwise I can’t keep track of the average.

Total: 629 out of 192 votes > Average is: 3.276

work pic
A first time for everything. This time it’s me building a PC with a LGA 775 Socket and a PCI Express VGA card. And tell ya what, it actually works.

Review: The Alamo

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

Well deservedly titled THE Disney bomb of the year. A very talkative, yet empty movie about some place called the Alamo, which marked an important point of time in the US history. That last sentence sounded more exciting than the movie though. On one side, you have a few “important” guys, bickering amongst each other. On the other side you have a Mexican general. Fighting for a lil’ piece of land called Texas. The viewer though, has a fight of his own. Against extreme boredom that is.
The characters are half dimensional at best. In the end, the only thing you have figured out would be “He seems nice, he seems less nice”. The dialogue has no message nor any emotional bearing. The strategy doesn’t go beyond, “You take south, you take south-east”. And on screen, there’s no eye candy to be seen. Clothing, weapons, buildings, scenery, the few battles, it’s all yawn-inspiring.
One tip if you ever get tied down with someone keeping your eyes open with no escape possible, try to figure out where the $100 million went to (I have a feeling a large part is in someone’s pocket, instead of paying writers and producers to make the best of a lousy skirmish in the 19th century).2.