Archive for September, 2005

Review: Pride and Prejudice

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Scheduling mishaps happen (especially since I’m not in charge of the thursday movie schedule), and this one was just too obvious. Translated from the pages of Jane Austen’s book, it’s not prejudice at all to mark this book and movie as “not meant for the XY chromosomed”. It is, without any exception, the most girly movie I’ve ever seen. It’s a costume drama set in the late 18th century England, where subjects like predetermined and financial advantageous marriage are the hot topics. We get to see dancing (lots of it), and romances with true love declared after a few superficial conversations.
Except for a few sparkly dialogue, men will have swooped out their Gameboy Advance/Nintendo DS/Playstation Portable, while the ladies will swoon over an ice cold character called Darcy.
If it weren’t for the Keira Kneightly’s capturing smile, I’d ask for my money back (or beat the crap out of the dimwit who scheduled this movie).5+.

Review: Surface 101 – 102

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

NBC’s take on sci-fi, with a sea monster as the starring role. Story is chaotically divided over multiple not interesting characters, with no real means to propel the story anywhere but the obvious. There’s no mystery, there’s no depth. There ARE loads of boring dialogue, there ARE loads of monster cliches, and there’s even MORE flaky special effects scenes.
This is going nowhere. Stay down, Nessie, you’re just not that interesting.

Review: Supernatural 101 – 103

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

WB’s attempt at another high profile series, and therefore they attracted so called “talent” McG for this “supernatural” show. Starring Jensen Ackles (fresh off another WB’s show, Smallville) and Jared Padelecki (fresh off movies like House of Wax and Flight of the Phoenix) as brothers who lost their mother 22 years ago to what probably is a demon. Now they’re trying to find their father, and for now they won’t advance in that search very much, making the perfect excuse for a “monster (usually demons or wraiths or ghosts) of the week” formula. Added are also chick of the week, lie (“Hi, we’re from the FBI”) of the week, and small town (preferably with dark woods or scary lake) of the week. This of course will lead to a shallow series, with no depth or substance to pull you back.
The stars are obviously there to function girl magnet, while the chick of the week provides viewing pleasure for the young male demographics. Both of which I do not belong to. Guess that’s a goodbye for me.

Review: Red Eye

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

After a 5 year directing hiatus (last one was Scream 3 in 2000), Wes Craven is back solid behind the camera (if we forget Cursed from earlier this year, which bombed anyway) in this closet type thriller. While the story is very linear (with no side stories at all) and hence feels kinda short, it can be scary here and there (I mean, what do you want with Cillian Murphy as the bad guy ?). Not overly complicated, so it’s lightly entertaining.7.

US Box Office

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Jodie Foster is finally back in the seat, after a three year black-out (minus a small role in A Very Long Engagement, her last starring role was in Panic Room). Flightplan practically reaches Mach 1 with $24.6 million.
Second is another new one, Corpse Bride brings in $20.1 million in this stop-motion flick from Tim Burton, with his trusting starring man Johnny Depp (5th collaboration already).
Just Like Heaven drops two places, with $9.8 million. Another new entry at four is Roll Bounce. Targeting the colored youth, it skates together $8 million. The Exorcism of Emily Rose clings on to the top 5, with $7.5 million. It has now a respectable cume of $62.3, basically triple the budget.

Review: Nestle Chocolate tablets

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

You’ve seen them magically appear on my table, and now it’s time to review them. All are new, so new, here and there it’s not even localised, so you’ll have to bear with me with the untranslated parts. The thin luxurious tablets are all 150 grams, and since they appeared magically, I have no pricing.

First up is from the Coeur Patissier series, Tiramisu. Extra fine chocolate, covering a bit of crispy cookie layer, with a very light tiramisu taste. The contrast is okay, and there’s a slight milky taste to it. It’s not addictive, but it’s definitely okay.7.

Second is another Coeur Patissier, it’s Crumble a la Pomme. Front cover shows a apple pie picture, but the taste is more sharp, the artificial candy like flavor. While it is very edible, only after a few bites, you’ll have this “Wow, I’ve had enough” feeling. Definitely a self controlling sweet. Then again, I’m not on a diet.6.

Third up is another one of the same series, with the title Poire Belle Helene. Exquisite title, exotic taste. The extra fine chocolate melts away perfectly, while the creamy cacoa mass inside provides a transitional phase to the dried pieces of pear. The taste is unconventional, but it’s very nice. Texture of pear is like wine gummy candy, but without the sticking between the teeth part. And above all, every dried piece of fruit is highly nutritional (think mango or raisins), so it’s healthy while you enjoy this highly addictive piece of chocolate art.8½.

Off to the fourth, from the Coeur Truffe series, a l’Orange. This tablet is a bit more massive, and the bites melt less quickly in your mouth. The content is no surprise, truffle with an orange flavor. For contrast, the are crispy sugary cacoa and orange pieces. The pieces could be a bit sharp though (which will scratch a bit on the palate of your mouth), and the flavor is a bit heavy on the stomach. This means there’s only a slight chance of addiction.8-.

Last but not least, is the Noir Pamplemousse. Like the direct translation says, dark chocolate with piecies of dried grapefruit. The natural bitterness of the grapefruit combines nicely with the bitterness of the extra dark chocolate (64% cacoa). It’s a strong combo with intense flavor, and hence, this is the only tablet that’s 100 grams (the other ones are 150 grams). With a slower melting rate, it takes about the same time to eat away the same amount of the others in the same time though. Fans of dark chocolate will definitely love this.8.

Review: Head Cases 101 – 102

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Usually, I try not to judge too quickly and wait for reviewing after a few episodes. Fox however, only needs the ratings, and hence, the first axe has swung already after 2 episodes. It’s tough, being a new legal drama with so many already airing. It’s even tougher when there’s another new one with the same outline (two very different characters teaming up, see Just Legal on the WB).
This show has the sympathetic panic attack prone Chris O’Donnell teaming with the hot head Adam Goldberg. There’s a little bit of drama, and a little bit of comedy. And the writing is solid, though not too daring. Maybe there could be an overkill, but Fox’s next decision was to put back a reality show, without giving this one (it has six finished episodes) a chance. And that’s just too bad, because I’d rather have mild entertainment, than no entertainment at all.

Review: Must Love Dogs

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

I haven’t seen many romantic comedies this year, but the latest weren’t letdowns, so I thought I’d try another one, especially since the line up might be an indication for the quality of the movie. With Diane Lane, John Cusack and Christopher Plummer, you might think the acting part can’t go wrong. The writing and directing comes from Gary David Goldberg, who delivered drama and laughs in Familie Ties, and just laughs in Spin City.
Too bad though it didn’t go as I had expected. Diane Lane is much better suited for the thriller or drama type of movies. My face was especially sour looking when the mandatory punch lines were so weak, it was almost embarrassing. And Cusack is now officially in the danger zone of being typecast for the charming love seeking guy. Mix these ingredients with the VERY dull script, and you have a disaster on your hands. I don’t mind waiting for the good jokes, or the good story, but when you’re still waiting while the end credits come rolling, it’s really too late.5-.

Review: Tracy Chapman – Where You Live

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

No one can dispute the fact that she has a soulful voice and always sings from the heart. Another fact is that you can’t really put her in a genre. Variety wise, the 11 songs go from here to there. It’s just too bad, all of them are so ultra-depressing (or just too strange), none will make it to my current playlist, and only one song might be saved for later reference.
She still has a fair share of loyal followers, and they probably all like it, with the deeply emotional rooted lyrics and all, but this is just not my cup of tea.5.

Review: Wanted 106 – 108, The Closer 106 – 113

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Both TNT shows finish just in time to avoid the busy network schedule, and the timing is quite impeccable. Truth is, both show probably wouldn’t survive my schedule (probably 3 hours of network TV according to my pre-schedule). With The Closer winning over Wanted, both show miss that little bit of extra to make it special. If the next seasons start in the summer again (with network TV down on its ass), I just might watch it. Then again, maybe I’ve forgotten all about it.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Monday, September 19th, 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: 1295 out of 420 votes > Average is: 3.083

desk pic
Hey, does a chocolate fairy queen really exist ?

Review: Threshold 101 – 102

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Hey, look, a new series on CBS that’s not CSI. It’s actually sci-fi. And it’s big budget too. The first to enter this season (NBC is right behind with Surface, and so is ABC’s Invasion), with a big slate of sci-fi die hards (just off the Star Trek trails are Brannon Braga, Mike Sussman and Andre Bormanis, joined by David S. Goyer (Blade movies)). Luckily with the contraints of the now dead Enterprise lifted, the creative force is flowing again. So, now you get what you paid for. High production value, slick story pace, snappy dialogue. We’ll have to see how this alien invasion plays out (and how the 2 other shows will compare to this one), but for now, it looks good, has a nice eerie atmosphere, and hopefully, more depth in the coming episodes.

US Box Office

Monday, September 19th, 2005

While most guys stayed home, the gals had the power to decide the box office this week. Reese Witherspoon starrer Just Like Heaven, shoots to the top spot. The romantic comedy reels in a not so divine, but still a respectable $16.5 million.
Second was last weeks topper, The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Legal drama/thriller has driven $15.3 million out of the viewers pockets.
Lord of War, a satire starring Nicolas Cage, didn’t really rule, with $9.2 million at number 3. At four, The 40-Year-Old Virgin still keeps himself busy, closing in on the $100 million mark, with this week’s $5.8 million. Rounding out the top 5 is Cry Wolf, the low budget horror/thriller scares up $4.6 million, nothing to cry about if your budget is $1 million.

Review: Happy Endings

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

After the Sundance Film Festival, it finally is doing a limited run in the theatres, and maybe it should stay there, for whatever life there’s left in the movie. Typical independent film feel, with characters linking each other into one big story. It’s not that big of a story though, as it fails to gain any emotional bearing, and even characters don’t get a decent background in the two full running hours.
In short, it plays like Magnolia, but without the excellent writing and acting. In essence, it’s a magnolia that hasn’t been watered for at least a month. Nice to see Steve Coogan in a serious role though (from BBC’s Alan Partridge series).6-.

Review: Cinderella Man

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

Second pairing of Ron Howard with Russell Crowe (after A Beautiful Mind), but this time in a more limited soft drama. It clearly doesn’t have the usual multi-faceted drama spectacle we’ve come to expect, and hence, this movie feels a bit bland. Setting and characters are only a handful, and with the 3o-ties style sets, it feels a little bit low budget. Story unfolds as expected, but the acting is up to par. The rest (direction, production design) is also adequate.7+.