Archive for January, 2006


Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Latin edition:

Santana – All That I Am: While the guitar leading man is crafty with this musical tool, combining the latin influences, it produces a somewhat bland experience (since it’s not really my genre), leaving only the two more poppy offerings (Steven Tyler and Michelle Branch, where the musical voice offers some fluid contrast with guitar) listenable, and ultimately only earning points for those two.5½.

Shakira – Oral Fixation Vol. 2: Unluckily, there are no songs on this album that matches the air play friendly single Don’t Bother (except maybe only one more song, incidentally featuring the above mentioned Carlos Santana), with most songs, having a weirdy feel to it (for instance, featuring some strange intro or background), and hence again failing into making me a fan (though her longing lyrics “don’t you know I’m only half a body without your embrace” does sound tempting).6-.

US Box Office

Monday, January 30th, 2006

A not so flattering Big Momma’s House and an evenly raunchy trailer for the sequel, didn’t stop the public from seeing another bout of Martin Lawrence in a fat suit. It topped this week’s box office with $28 million.
Brit import, Emma Thompson starring as Nanny McPhee, made a better than expected entry at number two with $14.1 million.
Underworld: Evolution stays true to its name, and takes a dive to number 3 with just $11.1 million. Annapolis enters number 4 with just $7.71 million while Hoodwinked rounds out the top 5 with $7.38 million in its third week.

Two-word Review:

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

The Promise: Unconvincing fantasy-opera.
Elizabethtown: Melodramatically sweet.
Waiting: Medium rare.

Don’t you just hate it…

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Don’t you just hate it, when you know someone else can do something that you don’t ? If it bugs me too much, I’ll usually teach myself to learn it, or just do it, so there’s one less annoyance in life left. For instance, things I already crossed off my list:

Vulcan peace sign, in perfect position in less then 0.5 seconds. Applicable to BOTH hands. (Pinky and ring finger paired, split in the middle with middle and index finger paired)
Soldering blown capacitors from motherboards, and replacing them as a means to fix it (80% chance it will be).
Buying a house.
Running/managing my own webserver with all the bells and whistles one can get his hands on.
Assemble diverse IKEA stuff in record time (using electronic help at own discretion).

Well, luckily, I can cross off one more thing, which is getting a driver’s license (in only one attempt (both theory and practical test)), while beating a friend to it as an extra.

Goodbye to the *#%#(*) DELAYED public transport. Goodbye to the FREEZING COLD while waiting for the delayed bus. Goodbye to the walking towards the bus stop of this delayed bus.

Public road/highway here I come ! (or rather, here Aygo).

Review: Munich

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

After a few crowd pleasers (War of the Worlds, The Terminal), Spielberg is back on his unconventional track. This movie is definitely strange and special in every sense. Trying to bring this forgotten story to the silver screen, he uses a unique way of directing and editing, following a surprising story outline. In there lies the good and the bad thing about this movie. Obviously, you’ll get a story driven plot with some deep soul searching for the main character (played by Eric Bana, the most underrated (awards-wise) actor of this decade)). The bad thing is that it’s a bit slow. Not only that, with so many factions around, of which most you have no idea who or what it’s about, it’s hard to live into those different angles. Many onscreen discussion are lost this way.
So, if you’re not up to the challenge, and you don’t want to risk this, you can always rent Collateral instead (only slighly similar, but more Hollywood style).7.

Something crawls this way…

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

No, it’s not a worm, it’s not a virus. It’s not a hoax, nor is it an chain e-mail message. It’s not a Trojan quadraped, and it doesn’t hack.

It’s worse. Internet Explorer 7 leaked onto the internet. I hope Zonelabs will have a patch ready by tonight.

US Box Office

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

As the war between werewolves and vampires continues during the night, Underworld: Evolution earns $27.6 million, enough for the top spot this week. Sequel of Underworld, from three years ago, pairs up director Len Wiseman with actress Kate Beckinsale again, except this time they’re married.
Hoodwinked sticks at the runner up spot with $11.1 million. Last week’s topper Glory Road falls to number 3 with $9.1 while the fourth spot is for Last Holiday, also with $9.1 million.
That leaves this week’s best shiner the awards laden Brokeback Mountain, earning a solid $7.8 million in its seventh weekend. While it may seem a low number, it played in significant less theaters than the rest.

Review: Match Point

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

The idea may be right, but usually it will result in a somewhat contrived outcome. And that’s exactly what happens, leaving a simmering soft drama ending up being a bit unrealistic. Everything in between wasn’t really exciting either. But at least it had Scarlett Johansson in it. As for the rest, I’ll be a bit more cautious when I come across the next written/directed movie by Woody Allen, ’cause that man is definitely weird.6½.

Review: 24 501 – 504

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

It’s that time again. Januari, the month that 24 hours starts ticking. It’s actually only since last year the 24 formula was sharpened (and with much success), where it could run weekly without interuption all the way through the season.
As an adrenaline producing pacemaker gone awry, there’s no replacement. Four previous seasons have proven the continuous high paced story twisting writing abilities are very trustworthy (with only some geographical discrepancies here and there, much to any nitpicker’s joy). But seeing how shitty this 5th horrible day Jack is living in, it looks like the writers are on speed or LSD. And only for this instance, I’d say, do drugs, it’s good ! (Really, don’t do drugs if you’re not a producer or writer for 24, ever). In any case, I’ll be training, to keep my ticker in shape for those 20 more heart pounding hours to come.

Review: Pringles Light Aromas Greek Style Cheese with a touch of Avocado Oil

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Whoohoo, a whopping 33% less fat ! And well, the net weight did drop from 200 grams to 160. So, what’s the change ? For one, you’ll notice the texture is somewhat heavier now, totally contrary to the fact of the weight loss. Strangely, the heavier normal style Pringles has the unique melting style texture, while this one is more like a heavy cracker. Then again, it seems just as addictive. For taste, there’s only a slight cheese flavor, can’t figure out if it’s Greek or not. As for the Avocado oil, can’t really seem to pick that one out either.7.

Review: Jarhead

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

A very unconventional war movie, definitely not the usual full force explosion type. It’s a bit on the tame side, probably because it’s based on a book, based on real life experiences. This means the drama probably has a creative license here and there, but it’s not a full story where they can go deep into the characters. It’s not really heading to a message either, it’s just a view of a particular deployment in Kuweit during Desert Shield & Storm. But at least the acting is of high standard, and there are some unusual visual styles (a la American Beauty Sam Mendes).6½.

US Box Office

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Slow week at the box office, so Glory Road ends up at the top with just $13.5 million. This Jerry Bruckheimer produced college basketball drama movie is based on a real story.
Close behind are Queen Latifah starrer Last Holiday, with $13.0 million, and the first animated movie of the newly formed The Weinstein Company Hoodwinked with $12.2 million.
Narnia is finally buckling under the strain of the new movie releases, taking in only $10.1 million at number four. Last week’s number one, Hostel drops all the way to nr 5 with $9.6 million. The 50+ % drop is probably due to people finding out it’s actually a Tarantino introduced (and produced) movie, and not a Tarantino directed movie.

Review: Smallville 501 – 510

Saturday, January 14th, 2006

Ratings may be up (effectively since the move to Thursday), and the series is still good, but it definitely lost its edge. Some episodes are good, but mostly, you have this feeling the characters are going around in circles. Development involves around topics that have been around already. In essence, it dropped from my MUST SEE list down to the VERY GOOD list. A slight drop, but still significant. Let’s see how it rounds off the rest of the season.

Review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

Typical small budget murder mystery with comedy twists. That means, it relies more on story (though leaning a bit too much to the usual coincidents and happenstances side) and wacky dialogue than on action scenes. With the narrative style and how the story untwists, it plays out more like a surreal fantasy than a regular movie, but at least it’s something new. Being special though, doesn’t necessary mean it’s definitely good.7-.

US Box Office

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Horror flicks still have the ability to enter at the top spot this year (continuing the streak which began some 2 years ago), and combined with the faith in Quentin Tarantino’s exec producing abilities, lands Hostel at number one with $20.1 million (already more than four times the budget).
That leaves the big ones trailing at number 2 and 3, Narnia takes in $15.4 million while King Kong swings in $12.5 million.
The rest leaves the top 5 with a faint smile, Fun with Dick & Jane takes in $12.2 million and Cheaper By the Dozen 2 $8.3 million.