Archive for September, 2006

Review: World Trade Center

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

The topic clear and hence controversial, so Oliver Stone had to endure quite a few accusations of all kinds. But unlike the cold approach of United 93, this is a simple drama based on true facts (though many survivors complained over a few factual inaccuracies). Nothing more, nothing less. Script isn’t overly dramatised to jerk the tearducts (and if it is, it didn’t have too much of an effect). There’s also no trace of alternative (like conspiracy theories) story lines focusing on anything else than the obvious helplessness, hope and heroism. So, all this points a straight line to the most average grade available.7.

Review: My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Half stolen, half cliche, which actually means it bombs as a whole. Well, okay, it’s not that bad, Uma Thurman and Anna Faris are keen to the eye, and even the less successful brother of Owen Wilson is still a funny dude.
Still, it is kinda sad that you don’t need super-powers to see the whole plot laid out before the first ten minutes are over. So just give in, and enjoy every chuckle you can muster.6-.

How Messy is it at my Work Today ?

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Rate 1 (sucks) to 5 (cool). Only rate the latest pictures, otherwise I can’t keep track of the average.

Total: 804 out of 247 votes > Average is: 3.255

Actually, I’m on location, so I can’t control how neat it is here. I just wanted to show you this server room, with 4 doors exiting to the VERY SAME hallway. There are also 4 smoke/fire alarms in this room, so it’s a pretty safe working environment, if you ask me.

work pic

US Box Office

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Stupid stunt-show Jackass Number Two stumbles to the top spot, painfully grabbing no less than $28 million along the way. With a non-existent budget (even the most simple and mind numbing stunts will get the target demographic crowd cheering), this is pretty clean money flowing in.
Chopping his way into the second spot is Jet Li with Fearless, his supposedly last martial arts flick, with $10.5 million. Dropping 2 places is Gridiron Gang, last week’s number one grabs another $9.7 million.
A risky project of passion for producer Dean Devlin (Stargate, Independence Day), Flyboys drops a $6 million cargo package. Not much for a $60 million budget, but it could be expected, leaving his sci-fi roots for a real World War I fighter pilot story.
Rounding out the top 5 is animated movie Everyone’s Hero with $4.8 million.

Review: Stone Sour – Come What(ever) May

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

With their single Through Glass easily entering the easy rock and pop charts for the first time, one might think it’s a new band with a new sound. But everything is far from it. First of all, they’re pretty old. As a pre-Slipknot band they didn’t have succes. Now reformed, they’re giving it another go.
Second, their sound is pretty hard rock/metal. Most songs on this album don’t comes even close to the vocal based Through Glass (only one piano based ballad pairs up nicely), with screeching booming guitars damaging your speakers if set too loud.
For the misleading part, it should get a failing grade, but the two easy listening songs saves it by a hair.5½.

How Messy is Mr T’s Car Today ?

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Rate 1 (FR#^&% MESS !) to 5 (how very tidy !).

Unlike last issue, Bern’s car was uninvitingly nicotine-stuffed. This one is slightly better, with snacks to be found on the right as well as the left side. Hmm, how will you judge ?

Total: 9 out of 2 votes > Average is: 4.5

US Box Office

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

Football dramas still seem like the winning formula, as Gridiron Gang opens at number 1 (starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson), while Invincible is still hanging around the top 6. Like Invincible, this movie is also inspired by a true story, and leads with $15 million.
At number two, while nabbing a Golden Lion nomination at the Venice Film Festival, but still not convincing the lot of critics, is The Black Dahlia with $10.4 million.
At three, animated movie Everyone’s Hero opens with $6.2 million. Christopher Reeve was still working on it during his untimely demise, and is solely credited for it, even though two other directors finished the picture.
At four The Last Kiss (starring Zach Braff) opens with $4.7 million, while rounding out the top 5 is left-over The Covenant with the same amount of money.

One-sentence review

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Brick: Pretentious youthful film noir (but filmed in color), with no real story or excitement to back it up.4.
Friends with Money: A frank unpretentious view on a group of friends, while ultimately not about the story, delivers through candid dialogue.7-.

Review: Vanished 101 – 103

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Fox tries to cash in on their success with serialised drama series (24, Prison Break), and this title speaks for itself. In this case, they want to keep us a few seasons busy with the suddenly vanished wife of a senator, making it a high profile case.
Mystery ensues, and everyone seems to have a part, a stake and/or motive. Sounds exciting ? Well, somehow, it isn’t. As urgent as this matter sounds, while watching it, you don’t feel it. Maybe it’s the structure, maybe it’s the story writing (chaotic, uninteresting twists). Maybe it’s just the basics that don’t fit. Maybe Mimi Leder lost her touch (she got her big break under Steven Spielberg’s wings, starting with ER, followed by movies like Deep Impact, Pay it Forward and The Peacemaker), because last year’s Jonny Zero was a disaster (also on Fox). This one isn’t that bad, but with a big “Mediocre” badge hanging on your shirt, you pretty much pale in contrast to your bigger brothers (the aforementioned 24 and Prison Break).

US Box Office

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

The lowest box office total this year, is led by Renny Harlin helmed The Covenant. Horror/thriller only gets a measly $9 million. Second up is Hollywoodland with $6 million. Time will tell if Ben Affleck’s Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festivals will help this George Reeves (TV’s Superman) inspired story fly in more dough. At three, Invincible finally gives in, dropping 2 places with $5.8 million.
The Weinstein Company does quite well with foreign martial arts actioner Tom Yom Goong, at 4 with $5 million. Rounding out the top 5 is Crank, dropping 3 spots with $4.8 million.

Don’t be a Culture Fool!

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Mr. T on TV (after all, The A-Team ended in 1987. Fans will be happy to know he’s going to do some kind of advice show, but it will air on little known cable channel TV Land), but with the internet and broadband connections and all, I stumbled upon a Culture IQ test hosted by this icon. Of course, it’s advertisement related (Comcast broadband services), but it’s still fun. Click here for the test.
This was my result.
culture iq

One-sentence review

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee: Very decent independent drama (starring and produced by Laurence Fishburne) that while predictable is still heart-warming, inspirational and dynamic in direction and storytelling.7½.
RV: Really silly, non-funny low-budget comedy.3.
Derailed: Not as half bad a thriller as it sounds.7-.

Review: Lady in the Water

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Can you say “He did it again” ? You certainly can. Both on Shyamalanism and on creativity, he wins again. While M. Night boggles you with mind games all the time, the real boggler is why Disney let him go, since this story contains a lot of elements fitting their profile. It’s a mystery, it has morale, Night’s weird sense of scare and humor, and most importantly, that slight touch of originality (of course, money-wise, it was probably a good choice, since it doesn’t track well at all around the world).
While mixing in quite a few reaching elements into this movie makes it less potent than some of his previous more focused box office hits (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs), like always, he masterfully controls it with his keen sense of understanding the human mind.7½.

Review: Prison Break 201 – 203

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

These 3 episodes are enough to get a clear picture of how the rest of the season will go. After all, season 1 proved to be consistently thrilling, involving all characters, and slowly deepening the story lines.
If you utter the words adrenaline and TV, the only association possible is Prison Break. It’s the only show where an average viewer produces enough adrenaline during one episode to stockpile enough of it to feed a whole intensive care unit of a medium sized hospital.
This show is hard to beat for many years to come (even though many new series premiering this season try to mimick this kind of serialisation, which of course itself is a derative of the same net’s 24).

US Box Office

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

An underwhelming box office, headed by last week’s topper, Invincible, with $15.2 million, barely slowing down from last week. Two new-comers will have to do with the second and third place. Jason Statham actioner (a low budget, high banking dude) Crank get $13 million while The Wicker Man will have to do with $11.7 million (difference being Crank has almost its budget broken even, while The Wicker Man is at 25%). At 4, Little Miss Sunshine is doing good business, actually climbing a bit from last week with $9.7 (low budget drama comedy pushed by a positive buzz now at $35.8 million). Doing even better at 5 is The Illusionist, opening in wide release after 2 weeks of limited, conjuring $8 million (and a total of $12 million).