Archive for February, 2007

How Messy is it in my Trunk Today ?

Monday, February 26th, 2007

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

Total: 30 out of 8 votes > Average is: 3.75

My trunk space. As you can see, if I have to dispose of a corpse, I’d have to use a bone saw and make 4 trips (nothing wrong with extending the fun parts, right ?). Anywayz, that’s not the point. It’s not messy at all, that’s the point. Those empty cans of wind screen fluid are there for a reason. It’s there for protective reasons. When driving around with large servers or computers, it functions both as air cushioning, place holder and scratch protection.

Review: Hanson – The Walk

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

A few years into the indepedent world of recording, they have released several CD’s and DVD’s through their own 3CG production and record label company. Through that process, it was the extremele difficult birth of Underneath (which was basically in the finishing stages when they broke free from the record label), followed by the live CD set Live and Electric, and their own feature length documentary. This docu, about the above mentioned long process of getting Underneath released, appropiately titled Strong Enough to Break, is now part of the The Walk promo and is freely downloadable through iTunes (and it’s pretty interesting too).
Album was said to be very different from their previous material, and so it definitely is. There’s no doubt they’ve grown over the years, from the full pop Middle of Nowhere, to the pop rock of This Time Around and Underneath, still they’ve managed to create and evolve their own sound.
For this album, they dropped the highly melodic verses and instantly recognisable choruses from before. Riffs and long hooks are traded in for a steady rhythm, set all the way to the end, while the lyrics will provide the extra depth. If you liked last album’s bonus track Dream Girls, you will know what I mean, and probably like this album. Lyric-wise, they’ve veered away from writing only love songs. If you come across lines like “On the third floor of a hotel lies a pregnant flamingo dancer, in the bath tub is a razor, and she’s planning a great escape”, you know you need time to let it sink in properly.
There are a few minor points that begs for answers though. Knowing Taylor provides the most dynamic vocals, you wonder why Watch Over Me is recorded on one of Isaac’s bad voice days. Same goes for Zac on Fire on the Mountain, and several other songs in a lesser degree. While the oldest and the youngest brothers have always done a few songs on previous albums, it’s probably more noticable now that they’re going for more vocally challenging material. Also, on the few songs where they build around their own verse/chorus style (Running Man, Tearing it Down, Something Going Around), it sounds particular weak compared to their newer rhythm style (Been There Before, Georgia, Watch Over Me, I Am).
Commercial success or not, they’ll be around for quite a while, proving they do it for the music and not the money, and taking their creatively independent music always a step further. And that thought alone, will make this album all the more enjoyable.8 (UK/US Release)/8+(for the Japanese album, with two extra tracks).

Review: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Funny songs. Yeah. Not enough to fill a movie. If the songs aren’t all that funny (wears of after one or two times), it means it can hold half a movie. And that’s exactly what you have here. The humor isn’t of the highest calibre either. Combined with the lack of an interesting story, and you have a guitar with only 2 strings playing.5.

Review: The Dresden Files 101 – 103

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

A new series on the Sci-Fi chan with big behind-the-camera names attached to it. First of all, Nicolas Cage is an executive producer. Probably more of a monetary title, the other names are pretty much the creative forces. Headed by Hans Beimler and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, things are looking positive. After all, these two were prominent writers on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Like their colleagues, I follow them closely (Rene Echevarria/Now and Again, Dark Angel, The 4400 – Ronald D. Moore, David Weddle, Bradley Thompson/Battlestar Galactica – Ira Steven Behr/The 4400 – Michael Piller/The Dead Zone), the list is filled with only quality shows.
Somehow though, they’ve taken a turn somewhere, and it’s one I don’t like. Totally abandoning in-depth character exploration and development, they’re probably chasing the books (can’t really tell, I avoid books like the plague) and going for the most simple style of storytelling set in a fantasy world with wizardry and accompanied scary creatures like werewolves and demons. This means an unrestricted way of going through the story, including easy endings with made-up potions or magic artifacts. Loosely translated, it’s a pretty lazy job. The beauty of their earlier works was that it was actually sci-fi (also unrestricted story telling), but they’d bound it closely to reality, both in story- and characters-wise, with real consequences.
All that cutting-edge stuff is now muddled into the pool of ordinary episodic forget-me-easilies. I give it a few more weeks, but don’t expect me to hang on if the direction stays the same.

Review: Dreamgirls

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Musicals bore me. Musicals makes me wanna kill people. I knew this was an original Broadway production, but the trailer made it seem like it was going to be a normal movie, with music integrated to it. And then the Oscars, that got me curious.
Essentially, it’s about 70% singing and 30% movie. The singing ain’t that bad, and even might spawn a few hits. The movie part is also acceptable, but with such a limited story, I can’t believe they’d nominate any acting gigs for that.
Also, for the most part, the camera is focused on the stunningly beautiful Beyonce, and her many guises that will pass the stage. Not bad at all.
All in all, it’s pretty enjoyable, bar the singing dialogue parts, that will have the musical-challenged audience surpress their laughter, and will result in the drama being a sure misfire in those scenes.7-.

Review: Letters from Iwo Jima

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Very nice follow-up to earlier this year’s Flags of our Fathers, also directed by Clint Eastwood and a Dreamwork/Amblin production. Having seen Flags is actually a must, immmersing you deeper into the story, but then from the other point of view. While the concept might not be new, it’s refreshing to have a full Japanase angle on this story. Also, the atmosphere is distinctively different than Flags, logically. Then again, Japanese reasoning and mindset towards war is also nothing really new.
What IS the same, is the gritty monochromic filming, but that’s as far as it goes. There’s even a humorour undertone in many scenes.
If you ever wanted a series of war movies that are not too much of the same, these two movies should be in your collection.7½.


Monday, February 19th, 2007

Usually, I have nothing against an updated lay-out. It happens all the time (‘cept here, I like to keep the same theme going, saves me HOURS and HOURS of work).
But now ol’ trusty IMDB decides to make a change too. And I don’t like it at all. Strange gaps all over the place, and everything is scattered (for instance, voting + grade is all the way at the right top).
What do you think ?

Old design:


New design:


Ah well, guess I’ll be a user while it lasts (it will be removed in the near future).

US Box Office

Monday, February 19th, 2007

A flaming skull rides on his evenly flammable motorcycle to the top spot, as Nicolas Cage sets a new personal record as Ghost Rider. Dragging a host of bad critical and user reviews behind him, it still earns $44.5 million.
At two, Walden Media combines forces with Walt Disney again, with another children book to wide screen conversion. Bridge to Terabithia earns $22 million in its first week.
Norbit drops two places, at three with $16.8 million. The Eddie Murphy comedy can’t get anyone smiling, but still curiosity for his Oscor nom for the other movie probably keeps business going for a bit longer, now with a total of $58.8 million.
Marc Lawrence (of the Miss Congeniality series) enters number 4 with a rom-com, Music and Lyrics. Starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, it earns $14 million.
Cross-dressing director Tyler Perry (of the Madea series) aims at the urban viewers again, with Daddy’s Little Girls. Another all-black cast earns $12.1 million, good enough out round off the top 5.

Review: Night at the Museum

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

A typical old-fashioned uncomplicated family flick, geared to the kids with an overly simple story. It also means mostly unsophisticated humor, and it kinda looked bleak at the beginning. Luckily, speed picks up after that and up till the end, it’ll be light laughter all along the way. A nice touch is that it tries to be an inspiration for kids to dive into the world of history.7.

Review: The Good Shepherd

Friday, February 16th, 2007

With an ambitious tagline like this “The untold story of the most powerful covert agency in the world”, you can’t go wrong, right ? Wrong.
This movie is pretty boring, despite the covert intelligence aspect, and the counter-intelligence stuff. Oh, don’t forget the counter-counter-intelligence and the quadruple-counter-disintelligence. Yeah, mix in hundreds of semi-secretive code mumbo-jumbo in the dialogue to make it really interesting. Sorry, but the sexy mother doesn’t shag, nor does the pole-dancer reach the catwalk, if you get my drift.
Slow as the story is, it’s mostly uneventful too. And with the long running time, it really hurts that this movie is devoid of real characters and development.
Yeah, for the better CIA stuff, you’d better pick a random episode of Alias. There’s something you can really sink your teeth into.5-.

Policy ?

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Subject: beleid voor sex in reclame ?

Geachte Tien/Talpa,
heden heb ik met verdeelde gevoelens vernomen dat er een nieuwe serie op komst is op jullie TV zender. De reclame was vandaag rond 19.00 uur uitgezonden
tussen de voetbalprogramma De Wedstrijden. De beelden spraken voor zich. Frame voor frame was het: voetbal, seks op zijn hondjes, voetbal, orale seks,
keiharde voetbal, SM. Laat ik u vertellen, gratis seks op TV laat ik mijn DVD recorder voor geen goud missen. Kom maar op, ik heb niets voor niets een 160 GB
harde schijf in dat ding zitten, plus nog een spindle lege DVD+RW’s ernaast.
Wat is dan het probleem ? Ik, als liefste oom ter wereld (naar ik heb horen zeggen), vind het om 19.00 nog net geen bed tijd voor mijn 9-jarige nichtje. Zij
mag zelfs de afstandbediening ter hand nemen als haar huiswerk naar behoren is afgemaakt. En laat nou net dit reclame langskomen bij het zappen.
Als oom vind ik het geven sexuele voorlichting nou net buiten mijn takenpakket vallen, maar zelfs als dat niet zo was, is het nog steeds vervelend op zo’n
vroege leeftijd.
Voorlopig geen geschop en gebikkel in de Gouden Kooi meer voor mij. De stoere politieserie Speijk (met e-i-j-k) moet ik helaas ook laten schieten. Ik heb
namelijk 10/Talpa uit de tunerlijst van de TV en DVD recorder gehaald, om herhaling van dit voorval te voorkomen.
Graag uw reactie (en dan het liefst een bevestiging dat u geen reclame met sex voor 8 uur zult uitzenden, zodat ik nog net op tijd de Voetbalvrouwen in volle
glorie met al hun passie kan aanschouwen (in mijn privetijd)).

Mvg, KaNam Ung.

Beste Kanam,

Hartelijk dank voor je bericht en belangstelling voor TIEN. Wij stellen je
reactie zeer op prijs!

Bedankt voor je reactie we waarderen uw oplettendheid! We gaan uw opmerking
doorsturen naar de redactie. Alle reacties worden wekelijks verzameld en
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beslissingen genomen over onze programmering.

Wij betreuren de beelden die zijn uitgezonden, maar wij houden ons aan de
regels van de overheid. Beelden worden gekeurd door Nicam.

We hopen je hiermee voldoende te hebben geïnformeerd.

Met vriendelijke groet,
Tien Publieksvoorlichting

Review: The Prestige

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

It’s nice to go see a movie with confidence. Confidence in the director (Chris Nolan, with a wonderful track record of Memento, Insomnia and Batman Begins) and confidence you’re gonna figure out the plot before the end. Of course, at the end, you’ll figure out you’ve pulled the wrong end again, and on top of that, you’ll get a wonderful intricate rivalrous story for extra depth.
It goes without saying there will be people who don’t get the plot, and there are some that will take theories far beyond the movie, but that’s what you usually get with these gems.7½.

Review: Last King of Scotland

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Based on true events, this small-time thriller-ish personal drama plays out in Ugunda during the reign of Idi Amin. And it’s an interesting chain of events, but plays a bit different than Hotel Rwanda, mainly because of the point of view. Judging this purely as a thriller, only the second half matters, but no worry, Forest Whitaker strikes fear into you like you can’t imagine. Unpredictable behaviour combined with a booming voice and maniacal stare, and you’d better not move a micro-inch. Definitely worth a Globe, and maybe an Oscar.
As a whole movie though, it’s nice for once, but not really a mind-sticker.7+.

Review: The Pursuit of Happyness

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Not only have we Smith Sr. vying for another Oscar, now we have Smith Jr. too (though only “lower” awards). Granted, acting is pretty good in this movie, which is supposed to be uplifting. Be prepared though, mostly it’s pretty dark drama, and you’ll watch it with a knot in your stomach. Of course, in the end, you will also feel jealousy, the story being based on a certain multi-millionaire’s memoirs.
While the movie seems to run a bit long, the continuous pressure and light hearted breaks will keep the momentum going, all the way to the big *sigh* of relief during the last piece to warrant the title feel good movie.7½.


Friday, February 2nd, 2007


Geachte service,
lang is het best goed gegaan. Niet al te veel kranten en/of reclamefolders tegengekomen. Als u mijn email dossier doorkijkt met de enige distributiecentrum
die ik ken (Interlanden. Er is nog een andere die zich helaas niet bekend wilt maken, waarschijnlijk om zo klachten te omzeilen) hebben bezorgers vele
manieren gevonden om toch de papieren informatiedrager op slinkse wijze af te leveren, van onder aan de trap, tussen de leuning, en gepropt tussen mijn
afgeplakte boven-brievenbus.
Maar helaas, hedenavond vind ik er weer een. Waarschijnlijk loopt er net een nieuwe gozer door mijn wijk, en een zelfverzekerde ook (zie bijgevoegd foto).
Met de boven genoemde manieren proberen andere bezorgers met een grote boog de NEE/NEE sticker te ontwijken om zo reprimande uit te stellen door eenmalig
de smoes “Oh, niet gezien” te gebruiken. Maar deze bezorger interpreteert de sticker anders. De NEE/NEE geldt volgens hem alleen voor wat er IN de
brievenbus gebeurt en niet erboven. Graag mijn verzoek deze interpretatie bij uw bezorgers recht te trekken, dan wel een gratis oog-onderzoek bij de
opticien in jullie CAO-pakket op te nemen.

Mvg, KaNam.