Archive for March, 2005

Review: Assault on Precinct 13

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

While the title explains the whole movie, there’s more to it than at first sight. Script and directing puts you right in the middle of a intense suspenser with some mild psychological thriller elements. High paced actions with strong dialogue keeps you busy for the whole 100 minutes. While some dialogue comes out a bit contrived, the cast is strong enough to keep your attention somewhere else.
Headlining is probably the most underrated actor of the last century, only being nominated twice for an Oscar. Adding insult to injury, Ethan Hawke has been unlucky at making a dent at the box office, while he keeps choosing roles with more depth and weight than usual.
No lightweight either is Laurence Fishburne, a worthy adversary for Ethan.
Definitely a siege worth sitting out.8-.

Review: Kelsey Grammer Presents The Sketch Show 101 – 103

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

I never really liked Frasier, and it going off the air after 11 seasons and 5 consecutive Emmies didn’t bring a tear to my eye. Kelsey Grammer, however, keeps himself busy. Through his own production company, he’s been making TV series for all networks (Medium on NBC, Girlfriends on UPN), and this sketch show is made for Fox.
As the title may or may not suggest, Kelsey is probably working mostly behind the screen, showing up in only one or two sketches. The rest is done by a five headed crew.
Being literally a sketch show, there will be a lot of hits and misses, unlike sitcoms where you still have a story to rely on if a few jokes fail. For this particular sketch show though, you’ll be counting the misses most of the time. The first episode was a nice try, but after that, it gets tedious and even predictable. Again, if it’s going off the air (which may be soon, if the ratings keep declining like they do now), not only will I not be shedding a tear, I will finally be laughing.

Review: Elektra

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Fearing another Daredevil experience (a pretty normal actioner, but pretty bleak when compared with the X-Men and Spiderman powerhouses), I thought I’d wait for a non-theatrical release, to see how Jennifer Garner holds up on her own. Proven her acting qualities in 4 seasons of Alias, this movie didn’t need her to even break a sweat. The movie itself wasn’t as bad as I expected, with everything floating between mediocre and just fine. The script isn’t that complicated, and leans more to action sequences to keep the pace going. Characters, again, like Daredevil, lack any depth, but Jennifer makes up a lot for that with high quality acting (and ass kicking). If you’re into this genre, it’s okay to see once. If not, you probably wouldn’t recommend anyone else to see it (and hence, it bombed at any box office it has encountered so far).7-.

US Box Office

Monday, March 28th, 2005

Guess who’s on top of the box office this week ? No really, Guess Who (remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner from 1967) takes in $21 million, which stars Ashton Kutcher trying to get along with his future father-in-law Bernie Mac.
Female audience driven Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous take in $17.6 million, just enough for the second place.
The Ring Two has come full circle again, and the time to die is nigh, falling to the third place with $13.8 million. Fourth place is for Robots, with just $13 million. At a total of $87.4 million, it is a hit, but looking at their advertisement budget, they we’re probably more hoping for a Shrek-like success. Rounding off the top 5 is The Pacifier with $8.54 million. With a total of $86.3 million, it’s a total mystery how a non-acting low voiced bunch of muscle is able to pull it off.

Review: The Office: An American Workplace 101

Friday, March 25th, 2005

Sometimes you see something you instantly like, and sometimes you see something you instantly dislike. Falling in the first category is BBC’s The Office. I only saw one sample episode distributed on a UK PC magazine, and it was enough to fly over the 2 seasons on DVD from Falling in the second category is NBC’s remake. But it could be, because I’m spoiled. Maybe it works for the Americans who haven’t seen any of the original 13 gems (only 6 episode per season were made, plus one Christmas special), but for me it doesn’t.
First we have the documentary style, switching between interviews and casual capture on the surroundings, which was much more obvious in the original. Then we have Ricky Gervais, the star of the original, who had more feeling on how to interact with the camera. Replacement for the States is Steve Carell, but without Ricky’s excellent timing, delivery and body language, it feels more acted. The other characters suffer the same fate. The sense of reality is gone.
Then you also have the script, which was only slightly modified for the American viewers. All in all, it’s not enough to keep my attention, and my hand is already reaching for the table, where my DVD’s are lying.


Friday, March 25th, 2005

Two of my most favorite quotes spring to mind:
Did I not warn you. Did … I … NOT … warn … YOU ???
TOLDYASO !!! (optional:) Whahahhahah !!!!


Friday, March 25th, 2005

For the first time in years, I’m walking around Parkerless (it’s always in the right front pocket of my pants). I lost my gold tipped one a few days ago, but knowing how much more powerful a simple pen is than a glock hand gun (once said by a wise Greek), I always have a back-up one (simple model, dark blue). I lost that one too now, who says today is a good Friday ?

How Messy is it at my Work Today ?

Friday, March 25th, 2005

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

Total: 705 out of 219 votes > Average is: 3.219

work pic
They say this Friday is supposed to be good. But all I know for sure is that it’s a working Friday.

Review: Robots

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Fox got the taste, opening their animation studio with Ice Age a few years ago. Upping the stakes with realism (fluid 3D animation with amazing textures, material and reflection rendering), we get to see how robots live. This world leaves a lot to imagination, and hence it’s opportunities galore when it comes to visual jokes. It’s enough for the full hour and a half, but then again, it’s necessary as there’s no real story to speak of. There are no meaty roles to delve into either, with no character worked out beyond the obvious two dimensional properties. With the current most expensive cross advertisement budget of this year, it’s not worth the hype. While I probably won’t remember any of the characters names (unlike the bigger 3D animation hits like Toy Story or Shrek), it fun enough to see once.7½.

Go Bill

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Isn’t that a comforting thought. The new terminals for public transport (recharging the chip cards or getting a prepaid one) are obviously going to be powered by Windows 2000 Professional. This 5 year old operating system has seen 4 service packs, after which you still have to install some 60-ish security updates (with a current average of 3 new patches every month). Anyways, hope the blue screen of death doesn’t happen mid-payment. Who knows where the money will end up ?

Review: Hotel Rwanda

Monday, March 21st, 2005

Based on a true story, it starts with the beginning of the Rwanda genocide in April 1994. It’s a forgotten or untold story of the heroic efforts of Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed well by Don Cheadle, a temporary manager of a luxurious hotel. Ironically, Don Cheadle started his career in the hotel business (comedy series The Golden Palace, the spin-off of The Golden Girls), and has since had several relatively small movie roles. Having proved his worth already (for instance, an extended guest stint on E.R.), this is the first time he’s headlining a movie, and he makes quite an impression. The inspiring and compassionate portrayal stands in contrast of the brutality that happened in the following weeks. It’s well written, and the dramatic score works well. While many gut wrenching atrocities will be shown, luckily there are times where you can sigh with relief.8.

US Box Office

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Horror flicks are doing well this year, as this week’s opener The Ring 2 proves. With $36 million it opens at number one, beating The Ring’s opening weekend in 2002 by more than double.
Mechanical failure sets in with Robots, dropping one place to number 2 with $21.8 million. Following at number 3 is The Pacifier with $12.5 million.
At number 4 we have a cold start for Ice Princess, a romantic comedy for teen girls demographics, only good for $7 million. Hitch hits the number 5 with $6.6 million, making clear the love doctor is about to resign, with a current total of $159 million.

Review: Tru Calling 204 – 206

Saturday, March 19th, 2005

It’s sad Tru Davies’ life saving gifts couldn’t save this series’ demise, clocking out at only 26 episodes. It’s even sadder when you see the last 6 episode packs more punch than the whole previous season. Twists and turns through different and fresh story telling devices, leading its way to the series’ finale, whille upping the stakes. Guess it’s fate telling us there can’t be too many good series running at the same time

Review: Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Saturday, March 19th, 2005

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet teams up again with the wonderful Audrey Tautou (previous movie Amelie), in a long hope-driven post-war drama. In the same tradition, it’s a bit lighthearted and frivolous story telling, and hence doesn’t ever reach the tear-jerker status. The driving force behind the story telling is more based on facts revealing itself (feeling more like a detective novel) than feelings. Add the subtitles, and you’re lost. With two and a half hours of this, it’s too overwhelming and boring at the same time.6½.

Review: Hide and Seek

Thursday, March 17th, 2005

It’s always hard to find good horror/thriller movies whole year around, and this one proved the search for a good one is not even close. A paper thin plot has to be stretched to 90 minutes, and that means, you’ll be mostly repositioning yourself in your chair the whole while. A usual sweet Dakota Fanning can’t help this movie much either, and neither can the auto-pilot acting of DeNiro, Janssen and Shue. This movie better play hide and seek on your schedule.4½.