Archive for May, 2005

US Box Office

Monday, May 30th, 2005

No surprise again, a tale from a galaxy far far away ends up at the top spot again, still running at hyperspace speed. With $70.8 million, SWIII stands at a pretty stellar $271.2 million after 12 days.
Second was the premiere of Madagascar, the first 3D animated comedy since Dreamworks went public. Opening at $61 million, I’d say, you’d better bought some stock. Third was another opener, Adam Sandler starrer The Longest Yard, with $60 million.
Left-overs finish the top 5, with Monster-in-Law ($11.1 million) at four, followed by Kicking & Screaming ($6.6 million).

Review: Lost 104 – 125

Monday, May 30th, 2005

Having complete faith in J.J. Abrams’ ability to steer this new series from a mysterious island to a successful show (which will increase his star power in Hollywood, with Mission Impossible III and possibly another one or two new TV shows coming up) was no mistake. We get to see backstories on almost every character in flashbacks intwined in the current storyline. Revealing the past while the mystery unfolds in the present works pretty well. Then you have the influence of mystery on the characters, and how everyone gives another meaning to it. It’s almost formulaic, but it never gets boring. With almost every episode having a cliffhanger, they just topped it at the season finale with just a flick of the fingers.
J.J. Abrams has the gift to make the unbelievable very believable (as the down to earth yet myth dripping Alias has proven already), so I don’t mind clearing the Wednesday night (as both shows are currently scheduled) for the next ten years.

Review: Smallville 401 – 422

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Season openers and finales tend to bring the best out of this series, as it happened time and again. For this season, even more so. It’s only the opener and finale that stick out out this episodic season. Continuing a bit on an intriguing myth, the story arc dropped to a bare minimum. Bringing a new Teague/Luthor rivalry this season seemed a good move, but the repeating death threats from here to there and back again made it a bit laughable at the end. On a personal level, again, it gained only a little this year. Needless to say, the red warning flag for repetition alert went up quite a few times, making this season one of the lower points of the four year run. The finale, again, brought some new mystery to the story, so let’s hope the series will regain its strength in season 5.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

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

Total: 1276 out of 414 votes > Average is: 3.082

desk pic
Who knew ? “Mens erger je niet” changed its name to “Plaag me niet”.

Review: Grey’s Anatomy 106 – 109

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

New medical drama’s performed very well this year, ratings-wise (NBC’s Medical Investigation, Fox’s House), unlike a few years ago (in 2002 ABC’s MD’s and CBS’ Presidio Med flunked the first year). For me though, this is the only one that touched ground. Acting was pretty solid, and stories seem to develop at a reasonable pace, so I’ll be there when the second series starts (strange scheduling abilities at ABC made 4 episode from this season carry over to the next, making season 2 clocking in at 26 eps, and the series it replaced, Boston Legal, had the same treatment, making season 2 a 27 episode run.)

Review: The Contender 104 – 116

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

With the end of the series (as in, too expensive ($2 million per ep, highest ever for a “reality” show) for the current ratings to try it again for another season), it proved interesting and testosterone buffed enough to last till the end ($1 million fight after eliminating 14 fighters during its run). Mark Burnett’s reality TV producing skills are a given, and the boxing takes care of the rest. It’s not the creme de la creme of entertainment (it was moderately entertaining), but I might even watch a second season if there was one.

Review: Hostage

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Bruce Willis’ carreer has been pretty much non-stop since the early nineties, so he can be forgiven for a few missteps along the way. This movie belongs to this category, especially since he’s headlining it almost all by himself. The movie starts out like it’s gonna be some kind of The Negotiator, but soon falls into a mix of convenient mishaps, predictable action sequences and there are even horror elements . The lack of character depth means you’ll have to put up with some heave over-acting here and there, but there are some surprises and tense moments to be found. With Star Wars still running, I’d say it’s an easy choice to just skip this one and see Star Wars, even if it’s for the third time already.6.

Review: 24 409 – 424

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

And so ends the fourth day in Jack’s life. Any sane man would have a half bald grey scalp and an ulcer the size of a football, but Jack still manages to live his one dutiful as ever. As the real time show has proven in the past, the twists and turns keep coming the full day, with nailbiting and chairglue all the way to the end. As Fox renewed the show for 2 extra season, I’ll say, Jack, for God’s sake, here’s a cup of coffee, it’s on me.

Review: The Assassination of Richard Nixon

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Inspired by a true story (to my knowledge, a pretty unknown one), it actually just a character piece. And who’s your go-to guy if you want a real character actor ? No doubt most critics will point out Sean Penn (who deservedly has 4 Oscar noms under his belt). You could say with the handful of movies he has made in the past years (21 Grams, Mystic River, I am Sam), it’s a real come-back (from the eighties) with a vengeance.
So, even the most clueless will understand this whole movie is pretty much a one man show, focusing on his character, and what drives him to his final act (though you will understand a little bit more, some things are still unclear). Even if the subject isn’t interesting for everyone, the acting alone is enough not to fast forward any bit of this movie.7½.

Review: CSI 508 – 525

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

And another one goes down. Still the king of all procedural shows, this season has held its high standard all the way to the end. Strong writing on new cases, and only a bit of personal stuff gets mixed in (could have been a lot more though). With continuing strong ratings, it’s one of the few shows this year to get a 25 episode order (the other one being Lost), but that’s not all. Of all the episodes, only the last two will stand out.
The most notable guest spot is actually behind the cameras. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, it’s probably the most intense, the best written, the best directed episode of the whole run till now. Dynamically directed with strange quirks we’ve come to expect from him, using music in the same strange way to transfer the drama into the living room as only he can, he elevates it to a cinematic experience. What a way to go out and start a sixth season with confidence.

US Box Office

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

No surprise as a certain Dark Side dominated the box office this week. Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith took in $108.5 million in the weekend (right under Spidey’s $110 million record). The four day total stands at a record-breaking $158.5 million though, and it also holds the one day opening record of $50 million.
The rest of the theatres seemed almost empty (and no other film company dared open a new movie this week), as a distant second is last week’s number one, Monster-in-Law takes in $14.3 million. A lacklustre performance rounds the top five: at three Kicking & Screaming, with $10.5 million, at four, Crash, with $5.5 million and at five, Unleashed, with $3.8 million.

Review: After the Sunset

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

We know the ordinary thief movies, there have been quite a few lately (Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve, The Italian Job), but most of them have nothing much to offer, story-wise. This one is a Pierce Brosnan starrer, and has even less to offer. Most notably, he played one before (The Thomas Crown Affair), and that was quite boring. This one is evenly boring, with a predictable storyline (retired thief can’t resist another job. Oh and throw in a personal vendetta, why don’t you), and uninteresting characters. Cheesy dialogue finishes it off, with no spectacle to be seen on screen, unlike the bigger budget caper movies. It’s a continuing genre (with a Thomas Crown sequel and The Italian Job II on the way), but for me, it’s all the same.5½.

Review: Kevin Hill 107 – 122

Friday, May 20th, 2005

And another freshman series ends. This one also for good, which isn’t such a terrible thing. Series was always on the mediocre side, and had a repetitive and dull direction. With nothing new to offer, let’s hope UPN’s new schedule will cater for something more exciting.

Review: Revelations 101 – 106

Friday, May 20th, 2005

More and more movie stars are trying out the small screen (and even more coming up for the 2005/2006 schedule), and for NBC’s limited series, it’s Bill Pullman heading a spiritual religious thriller mini series.
Produced and written bij David Seltzer, who has done previous thriller/horror stuff close to this series’ subjects, it actually amounts to totally nothing at the end (but that could also be that it’s written with a second season in mind, which will not come as per NBC’s revelation of the new fall/midseason schedule).
The first three episode seem to build the characters and story to what might seem interesting, with Indiana Jones like flying around the world relic hunting. But with all the prophecies and biblical quotes, the latter part seems utterly boring. Gearing towards the end of the world which of course doesn’t come, will leave you feeling quite disappointed, especially with all the not so subtle symbolisms and non-meaningfull intermezzos filling the cavities of the story. If Bill Pullman’s brooding scientist character wasn’t there, I’d never make it till the end. As it stands, even if a second series would return, I’d probably skip it.

Review: Numb3rs 107 – 113

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

And another show finishes conveniently in May, clocking in at 13 episodes. As a mid-season replacement, it proved successful enoough (ratings-wise) to have a season renewal under its belt. Quality-wise, it could go up a few notches. It’s not bad at all, but if it doesn’t improve, I might leave it for the same reasons I don’t watch NCIS anymore. Losing a team player will be another downer, so let’s wait and see who’s going the replace Sabrina Lloyd in season 2. I don’t think I could hold on much longer without a co-starring hot chick.