Archive for January, 2007

Review: Dirt 101 – 102

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Nice effort from FX to start another serialised show. Except, it’s kinda boring. We have Courtney Cox as the head of two magazines, one classy People style, and the other a tabloid. With the help of a schizo photographer, we get to dig into a few celibrity scandals. Even though they throw in a few personal dramas, it’s still not interesting enough to keep watching it. Especially now that most networks either kick off the second half of established shows (Monk, Psych, Prison Break), or serve up an entirely new batch (Kings of Prosperity, In Case of Emergency), all kicking up in high gear, just in time for the February sweeps.

One-Sentence Review

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Idiocracy: Pretty funny future piece for a low budget side project of Mike Judge (creator King of the Hill, now in its last season).7+.
Flyboys: A bit low action for a World War movie, and the aerial tricks are not the eye candy you’d hope for from a project from producer Dean Devlin (previously Stargate, Independence Day and Godzilla).5.
DOA: Dead or Alive: Being based on a fight tournament game, it’s more banal than most Jean-Claude van Damme products, even if it’s now focused on mostly females (and visually it stinks of rip-off, like a bad copy of Kill Bill or Charlie’s Angels).2.

Review: Little Children

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

An a-typical little drama this is, but strange isn’t always bad. Nor is it always good. This movie starts off with the strangest narrative (like, literally lifted from the book), and makes you wonder where this is all heading to. Then there’s the lingering feeling it doesn’t amount to anything (also due to the long running time), and in the end, it’s still puzzling as to what exactly the message was, if there’s any at all. In general, this movie has many parallels with last year’s Crash (story, build-up, finale, though a little less drama), but without any clear intent or direction. You can always go for the acting though (Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Connelly are quite sparkling it off the screen)7.

Ripe ?

Saturday, January 27th, 2007


A minimum of 28 days of riping ? Since when do we treat meat like cheese ?

Review: Blood Diamond

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Well, bloody hell, the second movie in a year where the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t really bother me at all (the first being The Departed). Heck, a few more, and I might just go see a movie because he’s in it.
Mainly, of course, the man behind the camera (Edward Zwick) did it for me, and while I don’t think this is the way he should go, it’s still an above average movie. I like his slow moving, always deepening, with a personal touch kinda dramas, like The Last Samurai and Courage under Fire. This movie is character-wise a bit more predictable, and focuses more on the civil unrest (or rather, cruel terror), making it more of an action drama than the previous movies. That’s not to say there isn’t drama, because there is. It’s just not the same kind you’d come to expect. To top it off, this is probably the first movie coming from him to bear a message, something to think about, even though it doesn’t apply to me (or 99.9% of the population).7+.

A Wii bit too late

Friday, January 26th, 2007

There it is, the new straps I ordered a few weeks back. Guess it was about FIVE days TOO late eh ?

new wiimote straps
And hey, I’m not taking any chances anymore. Wii-ing at my place is done with TWO straps from now on !

Review: Nacho Libre

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

It’s basically everything you would expect from a typical Jack Black movie, wrapped in a tinny script, including the usual singing cameo with oral guitar riff. Everything is done in the highest form of silliness that Jack can get away with clean. It’s not masterful comedy, but light entertainment nonetheless. So be it.7-.


Saturday, January 20th, 2007

You’ve visited, you’ve laughed. I visited, I laughed. Then karma came around and hit me right back in the face. Maybe it’s still that avian voodoo lingering about.
So I bought Wario Smooth Moves a while ago, but decided only to play it today with my lil’ niece coming by. And we can only assume Wario is the evil brother of Mario (is there a more obvious theory ?), but now you know that at least the evil part is true, because this happened.

During bowling (we didn’t open the new game yet, we were warming up with Sports), the wiimote slipped from the tiny 9-year old hands, breaking the first version straps (already requested the thicker ones from Nintendo, but still haven’t received them) and *whoosh* past my 32″ inch LCD-TV (*pfew*) right through the window:


A slightly damaged (but mostly still functional) wiimote:


Here’s the strap, one layer of thread, reinforced with *gasp* nylon:


And as the most respectable citizen in this universe, I had to clean up outside:


And here’s the trajectory of the wii-mote. While I still need more real world data to collect (variables being age and game in question during the mishap) I just had the counsel for Applied Mathematics and Physics convene, and they just stated the obvious, “The safest position to take on a road, is in the middle of it”.


Update: Just submitted my story to, and now IIII’m getting blamed for this. *snif* The world just isn’t fair.

Review: Bobby

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

More than one and a half decade ago, Emilio Estevez gives it a try again both with the pen and paper, and behind the camera. Most of this downtime, he has been trying to set his own movie up from scratch, eventually funding it himself.
But not only did he accomplish that, it’s quite a nice story too, and actually star studded to the roof. Basically a whole bunch of short fictionalised stories surrounding the Ambassador Hotel leading up to the true tragic event at the end of the movie, but it’s brought in a nice compact and earnest way. It’s again, light independent drama at its best.7½.

Review: Rocky Balboa

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Sherlock once said that if you excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be it. One last sequel. Pretty improbable, grandpa in the boxing rings, but it’s finally here. And whatever Stallone wanted, he got it. Main reason must’ve been a dignified ending to the saga, and to my feeling, even never disliking any chapters from before while also thinking the last one was okay for an ending, I actually think he nailed it (as far as the inspirational underdog story and the Rocky character goes). I think most fans will like, if not love this one too. And for non-fans, it’s not as rock solid as the first Rocky, but it’s almost there. Some here and there feels a bit too rushed, while there are also some blunt edges in the script. But for the effort and the result, it’s definitely two thumbs up, while Bill Conti does an updated score worthy of nostalgia.7½.

US Box Office

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Just as it is on TV, people still just can’t get enough of dancing on the screen, and no surprise that Stomp the Yard (troubled teen dances his way to success, what else is new ?) tops the box office this week, opening with $22 million.
Still no closing time in sight for Night at the Musuem though, dropping to number two with a more than admirable $17.1 million in its fourth week of release. Its total may pass the $200 million this week.
The Pursuit of Happyness drops to number three, with $9.1 million it will pass the $150 million mark before its run ends.
Rounding out the top 5 is Dreamgirls and Freedom Writers, resp. with $8.1 million and $7.1 million.

Review: Apocalypto

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Hectic year for that Mel Gibson dude. So hectic, it drives you to drinking a lot. And then some drunk driving. And name calling. And racial slurs. Ah well, as long as he knows how to make movies.
And that, he still does. Not as provoking as Passion, but I think there are a few subtle hints in this movie. While Passion was in a sense, more thought provoking, this one is only visually provoking (and in a way we’ve seen before). And without giving away too much, it’s basically Commando or Predator, but then old fashioned. Really old fashioned.
On film, a sense of authenticity is only conveyed by using old Mayan language, and hence the necessary subtitles reading is necessary. But by using small lightweight HD cameras (and the according shaking), you only get the feel that’s associated with the current trend. I’d rather have the steady cam serenity to slowly immerse myself in the older times. Gibson however, wanted some high tech close-up follow shots, and deemed the hand held camera the only solution to achieve it.
Ah well, all in all, not a foreign language Oscar contender in my books. While it gets only one thumb up, I’m afraid mr. Gibson’s style is moving towards the Hollywood middle again, even though this movie not recommended for the “normal” crowd yet.7+.

Review: Big Day 101 – 109

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Airing on ABC, basically replacing the lowly rated Help Me Help You, it’s 24, but then in single camera comedy form with a wedding as the center piece. There’s also no real serialisation going on, every episode containing its own new problems, all of which will be solved at the end. First few episodes seemed fresh, but by now, the formula seems too obvious. With just simple problems and fights, you don’t have comedy. Characters have to be funny too. And in this case, it’s just so-so. For time-killing purposes, it will do, but with new shows airing this month, who knows how long it will hold up ?

Review: Day Break 101 – 108

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

ABC is struggling quite a bit with new shows this year, already yanking The Nine and Six Degrees so swiftly. And now I have to review an already canceled show too. Premise is not really new, most resembling Tru Calling, ‘cept it’s a same day loop. Pilot was contrived with clues too obvious before the loop even happened. Strangely, following episodes tried different things every time, making it surprisingly entertaining (though pretty highly unbelievable how things changes with little variables changed). Then again, the cancelation came quickly, so no withdrawal symptoms or real sadness will ensue.

One-Sentence Review

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Ant Bully: Very amusing family flick, that even carries a subtle message for the small ones.7½.
Snowcake: Interesting mildly funny indie drama.7.
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles: A introspective view of an introverted father character exploring social semi-foreign customs, but runs a bit long leaning on the boring side.6.