Archive for February, 2006

Review: Good Night, and Good Luck.

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Half documentary (lotsa stock footage), half dramatisation, it’s the story about a short period out of Edward R. Murrow’s life, in which he basically starts a head-on war with Senator Joseph McCarthy. In keeping with that time, George Clooney decided to shoot it in black and white, and even did extensive sound processing in order to get the crackling and distorted sound of that time to us. All nice and well, if only I cared about a senator’s the quest to bring down a supposedly rising communism and political take-over, and how a noble TV reporter stands his ground. I suppose the acting is good, though whatever the message behind the continuous smoking on screen is beats me. Still, from a cinematic viewpoint, it wasn’t that much of an experience, especially not an Oscar worthy one.5½.

US Box Office

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Every year there’s a gap where you can quietly slip in a low budget movie based on a play, and with no competition around, end up at the top spot. Last year is was Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and this year, from the same writer, it’s Madea’s Family Reunion. Now it’s opening even bigger (at $22 million it was quadruple the budget of Diary), with $30.3 million it’s triple its budget.
Eight Below has to settle with one spot lower, with $15.7 million it’s a non-disastrous 37% drop.
The Pink Panther stays another week at 3, with $11.3 million finally taking a nose dive of 47%. Rounding out the top 5 are Date Movie with $9.2 million and Curious George with $7 million.

Review: Lisa Loeb – The Very Best Of Lisa Loeb

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

I usually don’t review Best Of … albums since the obvious reason that is not really new. This time though, for me at least, it is kinda new. With only one song in my playlist (Stay, which is a monster hit she’s supposedly still has the full rights on. Few people in the music industry can say that), it may not be obvious she’s been hammering out a carreer for the past twelve years (even more if you count the non-self titled albums dating back from the late eighties). Not so coincidentally, this album’s release coincides with her new reality show (#1 Single on the E! channel), paving the way for even more exposure. Thematically, they pair up nicely too, since most of her songs are the slow romatic failure laden ballads, with some acoustic pop cry-outs to top it of.
Technically, it’s pretty sound, with the slim acoustic layout supporting her voice. Vocally, Lisa has the most friendly and sweet voice you can image. It’s almost disrespectful to turn her off or to switch to other music. Luckily so, while there are some despressing lyrics to be heard, her sweet voice will keep you from diving into the nearest ravine you can find.
But everyone knows, too much sweetness will result in sore teeth (or ears in this case), and that’s actually what happens when you listen to this chockful (18 songs) album.7-.

Review: Aeon Flux

Friday, February 24th, 2006

So you win an Oscar, and then you have to carry a whole movie all by yourself. It happens to the best (anyone remember a certain Catwoman ?), so it had to happen to her too.
So why does this movie crash so hard ? Well, pretty much everything has a big sign BOREDOM stuck on it. The director doesn’t seem too capable to handle action scenes in a graceful way. The writers can’t get a few decent lines dialogue on paper. And surrounding Charlize Theron’s empty character are mostly B actors.
If not for the few body curve revealing clothing, I’d be fast asleep as the story is not the least bit entertaining. If predictability kicks in during the second half, it’s really yawning time. Counting the ridiculous futuristic technological advancements (which are there just because the writers thought it would probably labeled as cool, but most people will see as senseless story gap fillings) is the only thing left to do.4½.

US Box Office

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Cutie sled dogs took over this week’s box office. With co-star Paul Walker stranded in the icy nowhere, Eight Below puts $25 million in the freezer.
Second up was zero brainer Date Movie, which got evenly as many points from the established critics. New possible franchise a la Scary Movie (not from the same companies though) takes in $22.3 million, half of what Scary Movie 3 did in 2003.
Third is for The Pink Panther with $21 million, only a 4% drop. Guess people DO like Steve Martin doing his too obvious French accent act.
Traditional cartoon Curious George drops one place to number four, but actually does better than last week with $15.3. Rounding out the top 5 is Final Destination 3, with $12.5 million and a $38.2 cume it’s more successful avoiding death and hence still ahead of its predecessors.

Review: Brokeback Mountain

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Ang Lee has a reputation of transfering multiple layers of emotion through intricate relationships from screen to viewer, while at the same time keeping you on your toes if what you see is really there. This movie is no different, except this time, the transfer doesn’t get across fully. Maybe it’s the script or the story, but while you see passion onscreen, you can’t really figure out the origin or reason for it. Also, a warning for the faint of heart, there is some crude imagery here and there, but beneath the surface, it’s still a love story (and maybe a social statement, but I can’t be sure). Direction and acting are without a doubt top notch, but still, I have a feeling with the load of Oscar noms it might feel a bit overhyped.7½.

Review: Yellowcard – Lights and Sounds

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

The band is probably one of the best discovery of the past years, and following 2003’s Ocean Avenue is a whole to live up to. After all, that album had the whole rock spectrum covered, and added with their own uniqueness, it did effortlessly stand out for the following years.
Will Lights and Sounds do the same ? Probably, but with my finetuned ears, I’m just a tiny bit critical when it comes to the overall quality. Do they still rock like hell ? Hell yeah. Are they still unique ? Yup. But still, somehow their songs seem a little bit more closer to the normal rock borderline (chorus stylse and hooks intergrating basic guitar riffs).
Their hidden power may be in the less obvious longevity of their songs, since after all, I did upwardly adjust the reviewed grade of their previous album a few weeks later. Who knows what will happen to this one, time will tell. For now it will get a solid average, as any band with a “throw everything supposedly rock you’ve got out the window, and replace it with this one” rating deserves at least that.7+.

Review: Prime

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Refreshing comedy with pretty nice dymanic characters (although there are only 3 principal characters, namely Bryan Greenberg, Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep). The script, directing and acting is pretty funny at times (instead of the bulk lately where they TRY very hard to be funny, like most Jennifer Aniston movies, most of which I’ve totally already forgotten about) and with a dash of drama the story moves along at a decent pace. It’s no hands down winner like The Wedding Crashers of last year, but it’s pretty close.7½.

Review: Courting Alex 101 – 104

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Mid-season replacement sitcom on CBS, it replaces Out of Practice for the time being. Unluckily, this product seems to be from the same calibre, with empty characters shoving cheap jokes down our throats, followed by the gloating wait for the laugh track. Eventually, it will get on your nerves, instead of unnerving you from day to day stress. Definitely not a keeper.

Hot Chick Alert

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Caught another one, hot off the sizzling plate, as she only started a year ago, but has a slate of one-time guest starring roles already.
Featured twice in this fresh year already (Smallville, and a non-speaking part in CSI), I see a lot of potential here.
Hopefully, since her name sounds kinda Dutch (Annie Burgstede) she can swing by my house if she’s ever gonna visit her family here or something.
Anyways, check out picture 1 and picture 2.

Will it never stop ???

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006


Geachte Redactie Havenloods (Charlois),
wederom word ik bij thuiskomst weer verblijd met een stapeltje kranten bovenaan het trappenhuis. Altijd leuk om te weten dat de brievenbussen die beneden zijn opgesteld worden genegeerd. Immers, ik hoef niet mijn sleutel in het slotje te steken om de krant te pakken DIE IK TOCH NIET WIL HEBBEN. Zoals u onderaan ziet, een brief nog van de tijd toen het Groot Charlois heette. Nooit beantwoord gekregen. En zodoende ben ik het gewoon zat om maar 39 cent (postzegel) + 5 cent (papier) + 50 cent (envelop) + 60 euro (mijn standaard uurloon voor werk, maar die ik nu moet besteden aan het schrijven van deze brieven) te blijven verspillen om een simpele klacht opgelost te krijgen.
Ik weet natuurlijk dat u als redactie er niet bent om klachten af te wikkelen, maar daar zit het hem nou juist in. De krant heb ik namelijk letter voor letter, van voor tot achter, meerdere malen doorgelezen voor ook maar het minimaalste stukje informatie hierover, maar nee, alles gaat over advertenties plaatsen en ander inkomen-gerelateerde onderwerpen. Misschien is dat juist de truuk om mensen de krant (en advertenties) toch te laten lezen. Hahaha, the joke’s on me, ik snap’m !
Even serieus, is het zo’n moeite om een stukje van 5 bij 5 cm te reserveren voor een telefoon nummer en/of e-mail adres inzake klachten over de distributie ?

Mvg, KaNam.

1-Sentence review

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Bubble: An experiment (besides the triple simultanious release schedule on HDnet cable, theather and DVD) gone awry, Steven Soderbergh should keep away from this low budget non-professional garbage, and focus on his big budget actioners (isn’t there an Ocean’s Thirteen waiting ?).4.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room: While it offers only minimal inside scoop on this scandal, and ultimately leaves you without finality (since the big guys are due in court this year), it’s still mildly entertaining, considering I usually skip documentaries.7.
Everything is Illuminated: One of the most boring non-grabbing road trip movies I’ve ever seen, making me want to sue Liev Schreiber if he ever writes/directs a movie again instead of starring in another Scream sequel.5.

US Box Office

Monday, February 13th, 2006

An overly silly Steve Martin as the french detective in The Pink Panther didn’t stop people from seeing, earning it a number one spot with $21.7 million.
Runner up is the second sequel Final Destination 3, with the James Wong/Glen Morgan duo taking back the reigns (after being sidetracked for the first sequel of their succesful original). And apparently it pays off, upping the previous opening, now at $20.1 million.
Third is *gasp* 2D animated (previously known with the simple word, cartoon) Curious George, still managing $15.3 million.
Somehow, at four, Firewall might be a term too technical for the folks to flock together to see Harrison Ford, filtering through only $13.8 million. Rounding out the top five is When a Stranger Calls (tumbling four places), which rang 54% less, as it gathers only $10 million this week.

Review: Fun With Dick and Jane

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

As the title suggests, it is indeed fun with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni. The latter is of course not really known for her comedy abilities, and that’s because people probably forgot the comedy series she starred in after her Bad Boys stint (The Naked Truth on ABC (one season, after it shifted to NBC for two more)). Hell, even I forgot. But, luckily, while there’s no real chemistry bonding between the two, it’s a reasonable pair up. Also reasonable are the laughs and the pace at which the chapterised story unfolds. No spectacular script or characters, but it’s definitely popcorn fun.7.


Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

I’ve been talking a lot about cars and stuff lately, but how about getting this thing called just plain walking under control ?
Today, with a full load of undescribable embarrassment, I fell flat on my face during a walk to the car. And since I’m a person who wholeheartedly enjoys laughing at someone else’s expense, I can’t deny you the same joy. So here goes:
a whole in my levis
2 steps
Now, let’s see how live I can live without that tetanus shot everyone always talks about.