Archive for October, 2006

Adjusting TV Fall Schedule

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

With almost all of this season’s new pilots rolled out, I’ve gotta be harsh and cut corners already, mainly because time seems to be an unbudging variable.
While ratings look pretty bad all across the board for all the big fours, my cuts are purely based on specialty, quality and longevity of the shows.
Of course, the comedies are the easy targets, offering nothing new, while also not really being laughing matter.
So it’s bye-bye to:

Happy Hour (Comedy. Riihiiight)
Til Death (Hope it dies really soon)
Vanished (serialised, but boringly infused with half-revealing hints and clues that lead nowhere)
Kidnapped (serialised, but boring, feels miscast and uninteresting)
Friday Night Lights (Sports docu style filming. Peter Berg on a digicam frenzy)
Help Me Help You (Nice try mr. Ted Danson)
Men in Trees (Light-hearted Everwood for females. Nice effort, but really isn’t missed when gone)
The Unit (A bit too much of the same)
Dexter (too weird and unbelievable outline, that will only become worse in the future)

This still leaves me with some 20 shows every week. Next round of the axe in a few weeks.

US Box Office

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Another quick buck made for executive producer Sam Raimi. With his Ghost House Pictures production company, the low budgets horror flicks usually earn their budget back their first week, and so too does The Grudge 2 with $22 million, good enough for the top spot.
At 2, The Departed holds good retention, down to $18.7 million (a respectable 31% decline). At three, Man of the Year (starring Robin Williams) doesn’t impress, with just $12.6 million. Rounding out the top 5 are left-overs Open Season with $11 million and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning with $7.8 million.

Review: Stormbreaker

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

In general, James Bond copies for kids are bad. You’ve seen this formula fail (at least, for the adult audience) for Cody Banks and Spy Kids (why in heaven’s name were there sequels made ?). Now the UK tries to strike back with their pet “let’s show Hollywood” project based on the Alex Rider novels. A more mature hero figure, and besides a moderately high budget they threw in some bigger names too (Ewan McGregor, Alicia Silverstone, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Fry, Bill Nighy). Did it help ?
Unfortunately, no. It’s still a kids movie. Well, maybe teens can also be included in the target demo now. But leaving the adults in the cold, it can’t bear the name family flick. Besides using the very same formula I just told you didn’t work, the script is dull and the screenplay unimaginitive. Add to that the predictibility of a Tic Tac Toe game heading for a draw, and you wish the budget wasn’t wasted all on just making a flashy trailer, because the movie doesn’t add anything to it.4+.

Review: The Devil Wears Prada

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

One of the break-out comedies that’s been doing well Stateside, but also doing well currently abroad. It should mostly appeal to the female audience, but as an all-round comedy, it’s just about average. It’s the discovery period that’s the most fun, and the middle part already suffers from introducing nothing new. Predictability is also a weak point, but all in all, if the girls drag the guys along for this movie, it’s not a disaster, coz Anne Hathaway surely doesn’t hurt the eyes.7.

Consumer follow-up

Monday, October 9th, 2006

My reply on their reply from 07-10-2006 from my original post:

Geachte heer Ung,

Hartelijk dank voor uw e-mail. Het spijt ons te vernemen dat de kwaliteit
van de AH Scharrelei dubbeldooiers niet in orde was, doordat er tweemaal
een dooier te weinig in zat. Wij bieden u hiervoor onze verontschuldigingen

Dubbeldooiers zijn te vergelijken met het krijgen van een tweeling: dus
niet veel voorkomend. Dit gebeurt bij kippen die in de eerste paar weken
van de legperiode eieren leggen (een legperiode duurt gemiddeld vanaf de
17e week tot aan de 65e week). Deze eieren zijn groter dan normale eieren
die in die eerste periode gelegd worden en worden dus ook gesorteerd op
grootte. Nu kan het af en toe gebeuren dat een wat groter ei dus geen
tweeling bevat.
Wij zullen uw klacht hierover onder de aandacht brengen van de
verantwoordelijke inkoper.

Voor onze onvoorwaardelijke kwaliteitsgarantie verwijzen wij u naar uw AH

Met vriendelijke groet,
Albert Heijn Klantenservice

Lxxx Fxxx

Graag wilde ik nog even reageren. U stelt dat het “af en toe kan gebeuren”. Ik moet u helaas melden dat ik nu eindelijk alle 6 de eieren heb gebruikt, en op een
faal-percentage van 100% zit. De ernst van de zaak is hiermee alarmerend gestegen. Met zo’n hoog percentage, durf ik voorlopig deze eieren niet te kopen. Ik
hoop dat er in het vervolg betere detectie apparatuur gebruikt gaat worden om deze “foute” eieren te onderscheppen. Misschien iets met een felle lamp en er
doorheen kijken ofzo.
Zelf zie ik het niet zo zitten om elke keer met lege opengebroken eierschalen bij de klantenservice balie te staan om de helft van mijn geld terug te vragen.
Wie weet heb ik daar niet eens recht op, ik ben er van overtuigd dat jullie algemene voorwaarden daar vast geen specifieke hoofdstuk aan gewijd hebben.

Mvg, KaNam.

Review: Fergie – The Dutchess

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Usually I don’t review something recommended by someone other than myself. But it’s been a while since lazy ass Bern uttered something online, and I hoped the low calory Ramadan diet might have cleared up his brains a bit.
It did not. His recommendation was bust. Then again, I should’ve known beforehand. I mean, it’s written in the Koran. It states any disc jockey willing to put London Bridge on the airwaves, should be dragged behind a horse, by his ears. Allah is going to get him soon, as proof is online here and here.
Most of this album is the same. That irritating semi-rapping under a simple sample mixed with an overbearing bass track. That’s not called music, that’s called troish (trashy noise or noisy trash, take your pick). Can I use make up words as I go along ? Yeah, the Dutchess isn’t in the dictionary either. I just gave her the benefit of the doubt, hoping it would have something to do with my home country. Granted, a lot of influences can be heard. Besides the lot of hip hop, there’s is an Aguilera-style ballad (*snore*), there’s reaggea and some tough chick rock.
Ah well, my playlist is now 2 songs richer (the poppy Big Girls Don’t Cry, and R&B style All That I Got, coz at least she uses her voice properly there ), and that just saves her from a red grade.5-.

US Box Office

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

Martin Scorsese scores his best with a remake (Hong Kong’s critically acclaimed Infernal Affairs). Not only does The Departed earn a solid $27 million, it earns much of the same critical acclaim as the original.
At two, actually doing better money-wise, is low-budget horror The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, with $19 million.
Open Season has to settle for a third place in its second week, with $16 million. Rounding out the top five is new comedy Employee of the Month with $11.8 million and left-over The Guardian with $9.6 million.

Review: Weird Al Yankovic – Straight Outta Lynwood

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Another whole album of parodies. But…uhm, I can’t even figure out half of’m. That doesn’t actually matter, but what does is that as a whole, it’s not a whole-in-one (even though it’s Weird Al’s first top 10 album, entering straight to that position in the Billboard this week).
Granted, humorous as he is, most songs, even the worst ones have a few funny lines in them. He can even get your attention going on for a solid 11 minutes with a slow simmering soul fueled dialogue driven R&B song. But the most fluid trademark homerun parody (James Blunt’ You’ Beautiful turns to You’re Pitiful), can’t be even counted, as it’s not on the album, and is only available as a free download, due to legal matters. Plus of course, I rate on voice, composition and technical merits, not on humor. That said, as a music CD, I can’t rate it that high (how can I consciously recommend others to listen to it), even though on comedy alone it’s acceptable, making the combined grade still below average. I’d recommend you pick up his previous album Poodle Hat.5½.

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Saturday, October 7th, 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: 1337 out of 438 votes > Average is: 3.053

desk pic

Not really my desk, but part of my floor. Hopefully this isn’t a mother spider who already laid her eggs before she died. It’s almost too big to fit the nozzle of my vacuum cleaner !

Review: Open Season

Friday, October 6th, 2006

It’s getting a bit old now, those animated “animal buddies against will” type of stories. Ever since Shrek, it’s been a Shrek/Donkey copying game. It might not have been so bad if only the story was up to par, or the jokes were inventive. But it wasn’t. Only go if you want your kids to have a good time. But be advised, you probably won’t be.5½.

Review: James Morrison – Undiscovered

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

In the current landscape of solo singer/songwriter/performer (who by default earn more respect from me), it’s still takes time to find a new sparking one on a regular basis. The latest one to make a real dent seems to be James Morrison, going a similar way previous walked by the likes of Gavin DeGraw and Tyler Hilton, though having a coarser rougher voice.
Storming the charts is You Give Me Something, a wallowing sweet begging. Combined with a simple motif it still sounds nice, though it makes it a danger regarding its longevity. Luckily, there are a few stronger songs with more conviction, making a solid statement (Undiscovered, This Boy), but there are a lot of slow crooners and seemingly copies of other songs (Under the Influence, How Come) in there not to my liking. All in all, it’s a very mixed bag, and with only 3 songs picked out to inhabit my resident playlist, it didn’t reach the average grade.6½.

Review: John Mayer – Continuum

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Never liked the guy. The slow jamming make my drowsy, and the “ooeh hooehooe” (Clarity) makes me wanna choke him. But somehow, the first single of this new album (Waiting on the World to Change) grabbed me with its 70-ties throwback. The ingenius punchy flowing vibe doesn’t find its way to the other songs though. It’s more of the slow stuff, with a bit too much jazzy influences for my taste. Fans will probably like it, but this is really not for me.5½.

US Box Office

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

It’s getting hard to distinguish all those animal 3D animated movies, but every studio wants to give it a try, and this one has a bear and a mule in it, and is from the Sony Pictures Animation division. I thought animal-tiredness would have set in by now (for instance, do non-descript titles like Barnyard and The Wild job your memory ?), but somehow this one ends up at the top spot with $23 million.
Second up is The Guardian, a Disney distribution featuring Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner, with $17.7 million.
Jackass Number Two will have to do with the third spot, with $14 million. At four a new comedy, School for Scoundrels starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder, opens with $9.1 million. Rounding out the top 5 is Jet Li’s Fearless, with $4.7 million (dropping a whopping 56% from last week).

Consumer Fraud

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Via deze weg wilde ik mijn klacht bij u neerleggen. Nadruk op LEGGEN. Hierin is namelijk iets vreselijks verkeerd gegaan. En dan heb ik het over de genetisch gemanipuleerde dubbeldooier leggende kip.
Van nature ben ik een levensgenieter, en wat kan je ochtend beter maken dan een broodje ei met 1 dooier. JUIST ! Een broodje ei met 2 dooiers. Daarom kraakte ik tot voor kort elke dag gewoon 2 eieren open. Natuurlijk zegt dat iets over mijn cholesterol gehalte (door het dak heen!), en vandaar dacht ik slim te zijn door jullie dubbeldooier ei te kopen.
Economisch gezien, geniet ik dan dubbel, en zal ik minder cholesterol tot me nemen, en bespaar ik ook nog eens flink wat geld door dagelijks maar 1 ei tot me te nemen.
Moet u mijn schrik eens voorstellen toen ik gister mijn ochtenritueel begon, en ik even dacht dat ik het omgekeerde van dronken was (ipv dubbel zien, half zien). Gelijk maar een foto gemaakt, meer voor de grap.
Het zij zo, een kip met een humeur of zo. Dan maar terugvallen op mijn oude gewoonte en nog maar een ei gepakt.
Nu was het niet grappig meer. 1 is toeval, maar 2 maakt een serie. Oftewel, misschien heeft genetische manipulatie zijn grenzen bereikt en beginnen de ramp scenarios zich voor te doen (ik ben ook film liefhebber, en ik kan u verzekeren dat ik veel vreemde dingen over het scherm heb zien vliegen, wat nu veel minder vreemd begint te lijken).
Hierbij dan de code van het ei, 2-NL 4348801, hopelijk dat het helpt in uw onderzoek naar dit controversiele onderwerp. Tevens heb ik nog 3 eieren niet gebruikt, wat u terug kunt nemen als het de onderzoek of de productie naar een nieuwe lading goed-functionerende kippen bevorderd. Misschien een tip, probeer een kip te produceren die een ei met 3 dooiers kan leggen. Als het verkeerd gaat, kunnen ze nog altijd nog functioneren als de dubbeldooier leggende kip.

Voorlopig met een ochtendhumeur,

KaNam Ung

Review: Snakes on a Plane

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

If you expect nothing more than a campy popcorn flick, this is the real deal. If you are a Samuel L. Jackson fan, you’re in for quite a flight too. Sure, it was a bit overhyped during its conception, preproduction, production and post-production (even including re-filming the end sequence after a test audience screening, which didn’t lead to a massive box office income), but as a brainless entertaining object, it’s still solid. There’s enough action and there’s enough humor and gore to fill a nice hundred minutes. For what’s it intended to do, it’s delivers.7½.