Archive for May, 2006

Review: Hoodwinked

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

The first 3D animation project bought by the newly formed The Weinstein Company (after the brothers left Disney’s specialty arm Miramax). And it’s not that hard to figure out why they bought it. It’s a contemporary take on the Little Red Cap fairy tale, with a fast paced and multi-threaded story line. It’s very story driven, and while the character outlines are distinct enough, there’s still room for a tiny bit of development there. There are some funny parts, and of course, the somewhat cheaper movie spoof jokes. If those were replaced by more unique new jokes, it would’ve stand out with head and shoulders. As it is now, it’s just a fresh funny movie.7½.

Review: Tempur Classic Queen Pillow

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

I once had a small sample of this Tempur material in my hands, and I was sold on the idea of this NASA product. Like the website states, it’s an exclusively licensed product, that’s visco-elastic. Hence the form moulds around your head, and it always bounces back to its original state. Besides that, it has pressure relieving qualities.
So, it is worth the €114 euros ? Well, it’s kind of a tough sell. Of course you can’t expect miracles, like sleeping as if you’re floating high on fairy dust. When first used, it might even feel too hard to ever become comfortable. But in the end, it’s still nice material (it’s also temperature sensitive), and from this week’s experience, I think I’m sleeping slightly better (less disturbance during the night, means less occurences of getting up) than normal. This is due to the pressure relievance, hence optimally preserving the blood flow to my massive brains, which even in idle mode needs massive amounts of oxygen.
Since I was already thinking of a new pillow, it’s a no-brainer I got my money worth, but if you already have a comfortable one, I’m not recommending you to spend that much money.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

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

Total: 1323 out of 435 votes > Average is: 3.041

desk pic

“Hey ?!?” you might think, this is not a desk ?!? Well, that’s correct, it’s my bed with a new pillow. It’s just a prelude to the review, and it’s neat anywayz, so let the fivers roll !

Review: What About Brian 101 – 102

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Only aired a few times, but it ABC already has a season renewal greenlight on it. With the magnificent J.J. Abrams having a small role as exec producer, I thought I might give it a try. ABC knows drama, and so does Abrams, but this show somehow feels a bit slow and bland. Maybe it’s because the premise is a bit weak. While other shows have at least a good base to work its way from, this one is about a bunch of unrelated friends, with Brian being single, and hence the dating game ensues. Blablabla. With shows about a plane crash on a mysterious island, or a group of upcoming surgeons in a Seattle hospital, or a Mormonic polygamist family, it’s hard to stay interested in such a mundane series. Sorry Abrams, gotta pass this one up.

US Box Office

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Almost impossible, but MI:III managed to stay on top this week, taking in 49% less than its premiere, $24.5 million. Second was what supposed to be this week’s number one, but the $160 million budgetted Poseidon was only good for a runner up spot. Wolfgang Petersen’s third sea based film capseized during its maiden voyage, with $20.3 million (then again, Titanic opened with $28.8 million and went on to garnish a $600 million cash deposit. Then then again, any movie about a ship going down will make people want to reach for their Titanic DVD anyways, it’s not a good theme to roll such expensive dice with anymore).
R.V. is still good in its counter-programming spot, at 3 with $9.5 million.
At number 4, Linday Lohan continues to lose star power, now opening Just My Luck with an unlucky $5.5 million. Rounding out the top 5 is An American Haunting with $3.7 million.

Review: The Weather Man

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Pretty solid family dramedy featuring a strong undefined character played Nicolas Cage. Great supporting cast makes the family ordeals feel a bit uncomfortable yet laughable. As a one man journey, it accomplishes its goals on some, but certainly not all occasions. Cage’s character is also fleshed out by his inner voice narration, just how only he can deliver it. Sometimes a bit slow, but at no time boring.7+.

Review: Snow Patrol – Eyes Open

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

From their last album (Final Straw), I was able to pick less than a handful of songs that had a good base, but sounded as if they weren’t really finished, stuck with half a hook, never flowing into a full song. When a reviewer compared their latest effort coming close to The Goo Goo Dolls, I was definitely interested.
The reviewer, by the way, might as well have his ears bitten of by a rabid dog, because this album is even more disappointing. They must’ve heard one too many Coldplay songs by now, and half of the album is filled with the same uninterested main vocals (on a few songs, a background choir joins with the same uninteresting tone, did ALL the producers fall asleep ?) singing those instantly recognisable downward (hence depressing) hooks. The other half has unimaginative guitar play, making the songs, while uptempo and almost inviting, nothing more than generic rock in the most unflattering way.4-.

Wow, you guyz are REALLY REALLY bad clickers

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

I tell ya what, I haven’t earned one dollar (yes, you’ve read it correctly, $1) yet since I started adsensing for Google (beginning of May). C’mon, don’t tell my you didn’t see that block of advertisement in the right menu. I only earn money if you actually click on it, y’know. Now, click away, make me rich !

Review: Taking Back Sunday – Louder Now

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

Between all the noise (which is indeed louder now) of the heavy electric guitar sets, it’s hard to distinguish any music, let alone high quality music. Of course, it’s kind of what you’d expect from them, using the same dual vocal setup, both which haven’t really improved. Their slightly unstable voices didn’t deter them from making a few hits here and there, but on this album I really can’t find any. If you want uncomprosing guitar violence, this might be something for you. Subtlety is nowhere around, so neither am I.4.

Review: Big Love 101 – 109

Monday, May 8th, 2006

A pretty revolutionary dramaon HBO (produced by Tom Hanks), starring Bill Paxton as the head of a big family. And I mean a BIG family. Main focus is the polygamy life-style, with involving family problems mixed with individual ones. This makes for a show with a wide variety of topics, and ranges from funny to frowning dramatic. With the characters built over the episodes, it’s fun to see how everyone evolves and what traits are revealed.
In a voyeuristic and curious way, a few episodes would be sufficient, but they’ve build solid story archs with many aspects shine the light on to last a few years. Definitely a winner (in the eye of yours sologamist truly).

US Box Office

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Reaching the top spot this week wasn’t the impossible mission for the second sequel of the series, it was topping the previous opening that seemed impossible (John Woo’s part raised $57.8 million in its first week). Most predictions went higher, and the studio expected somewhere in the $70 million region, but it has to do with $48 million.
A distand second place is last week’s number one, RV makes a $11.1 million roundtrip. Third is for low budget horror flick (supposedly based on true events) An American Haunting with $6.3 million.
Rounding out the top 5 are last week’s Stick It and United 93, resp. $5.5 and $5.2 million.

Review: Hertog Hoogstandjes: Kaneel Roomijs met Kersenijs (en stukjes koek)

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

I had didn’t know about this new flavor, nor was I aware of this whole Hoogstandjes series. Apparently it’s been going on for a while, and this could even be the last in the series (with the online poll, to decide which of the temporary flavor may come back and stay, already closed). The reason I never noticed it might be the us of the same packaging of the standard flavors, whereas the more luxurious flavors use transperant packaging to showcase the colors, and whet our appetite and curiosity.
As for the ice cream itself, the flavor is very mild, almost too mild. There no full cinnamon nor cherry flavor, and it’s actually not that creamy either. There’s some caky crumblings mixed for contrast, but it can’t save it as a whole. And even though it’s mild in taste, there is some synthetic cherry feeling coming through. While there’s definitely no danger in feeling saturated after a portion (or two), there might be a danger in eating too much without noticing it. So, while it’s nice to try it out, it didn’t make my shortlist for an encore.6+.

Review: The Great Raid

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Like any war movie these days, it’s focused on a smaller mission, while expanding the story from there. For this story, based on true facts, quite a few unkown facts are used. Japan invaded the Philipines while US soldiers were stationed there, after which they had a lot to endure. It was only during the end of the war a US Army Rangers division was sent on a POW rescue mission. Build a love story around it, and throw in a building underground movement, and you have yourself one heck of an inspirational movie.
Enterntainment value lies somewhere between the popcorn ready Pearl Harbor, and the utterly boring The Thin Red Line. The screenplay isn’t as sharp as it could be, but it’s still a nice effort.7-.

Review: Mission Impossible III

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Rule of thumb is, what J.J. Abrams touches, turns gold. Look at the Alias and Lost franchise. A unique style of character depth and mystery.
For MI:3 however, he just hooked up an IV, and let it drip a 100% adrenaline solution. From the start till the end, it never stops. Even though we never go in depth with the characters (or even the story line) Abrams is able to highten the sense of drama.
Also, acting is a part Abrams always keeps an sharp eye on, and there’s not much you can dispute here (not even Tom Cruise’s performance). For the Scarlett Johansson lovers (rumored to have dropped out after Tom’s freaky proposal (the one with which he succeeded to get Katie Holmes), and maybe a of bit some Scientology craziness. Then again, a scheduling conflict sounds so boring) , I can assure you Michelle Monaghan is an able replacement (both acting and hotness factor).
Action wise, it all seems very old-school, and that really helps to create an authentic atmosphere. If you dig action flicks, this will probably be IT for this year.8+.

Review: Goo Goo Dolls – Let Love In

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

It’s been a while, but it’s finally here. Their last smasher album was in 2002 (Gutterflower), and that one took me a while to really like it. Then it went quiet (except for John Rzeznik’s two songs on the Treasure Planet soundtrack). In 2004 they released a Live in Buffalo DVD (while nothing really new, it was good nonetheless) along with the Give a Little Bit cover, and last year saw another new song released.
So, taking those two songs into account, I’m actually only reviewing 9 songs. 11 songs on an album is always a disappointment, and only 9 new ones is even more so. Traditionally, there will be two songs sung by fellow band member Robby Takac, and tradionally I like those far less then the usual Rzeznik songs.
So, only 7 left. What about it ? Well, keeping their records consistent, the tracklist is always balanced with acoustic and electric guitar setup. Overall, it seemed to have toned down though. Combined with what some might call “preachy” lyrics, they’re definitely heading the opposite direction of almost 2 decades ago (punk rock with lyrics like Up Yours, and songs about James Dean being gay). Still, the inspirational question aside, if you like’m in general, you’ll like this album (including the songs I just discarded in this review). In no time you’ll be belting out stuff like “IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’ll staaaaaaaaaay with youuuu” and “Now I’m banging on the door of an angel, the end of fear is where we begin,
the moment we decided to leeeeet looooove iiin” in the Goo Goo Dolls style they’ve made their own.8½.