Archive for April, 2007

Review: Ghost Rider

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Expectations for any Marvel production are always high. Where will it land ? In top the top range (Spider-Man, X-Men), or in the mediocre range (Daredevil, Fantastic Four) ? Well, this one is closer to the latter category, but it’s still lightly entertaining.
It’s a bit predictable, and the story isn’t really bulky. Characters are pretty thinly written. Also, the quality of the special effects (while the budget is above $100 million) are hovering around the lower ranges (most CGI is too obvious and synthetic).
Still, it’s fun to watch, mostly because of Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. Just don’t get your hopes up like you do when a new Spidey flick comes along.7.

Review: Shooter

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

After an excellent Training Day, Antoine Fuqua descended to mediocre filmmaking the following years (Tears of the Sun, King Arthur). This one however, is ever so slightly just above mediocre.
From the start, the suspense kicks in and keeps rolling. A bit of action, a bit of thriller, with the pace of a train. And it has to be, because the story itself isn’t too complicated. Nor are the characters delved into properly. For sheer pop-corn fun though, it will do just fine.7+.

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Usually I never pay attention to those usual mailings from my suppliers (flyers, discounts, pricelist), but this latest info/greeting mail on Easter and adjusted closing times had me laughing for the first time. This picture was attached:
So, Happy Easter all, coz Jezus ate eggs on his last supper and a bunny was sitting across the table, right ?

Review: Hot Fuzz

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

The trailer doesn’t shine the correct light on this movie, ‘cept that the “from the makers of Shaun of the Dead” is dead on. In that, that it’s not what you’d expect. Seems like a normal action comedy ? Certainly some elements are there, but the director goes on a frenzy, with horror elements, and an over-the-top-finale. And for that, I’ll forgive the straight forward, single-focus story telling, and give it half a thumb up.7.

Review: Curse of the Golden Flower

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Internationally, Yimou Zhang made quite a name for himself a few years back, with the a graceful and quite unforgettable Hero (and along, bringing the best out Jet Li). It was later followed by an almost as brilliant House of Flying Daggers (this time headlined by the beautiful Ziyi Zhang).
For this movie, the ante is WAY up, as we no have the biggest budget for a chinese movie, ever. And it shows. The production design is marvelous. Both exterior and interior shots are an attack on your eyeballs, with rich colors and texture, immense detail, and just sheer beauty. If set decoration and/or costume design don’t reign in a battlewagon full of awards, I’ll drop down dead where I stand. (I just looked it up, and I guess the people at the Oscars need a battlewagon full of glasses, since they actually snubbed the award away in favor of the standard costume drama Marie Antoinette)
Grand as it visually is, it’s actually an intimite look in the life of an Emperor and his family (wife and 3 brothers). It plays out like the tragic opera you’ve come to expect, and some here and there, the emotion doesn’t get transfered quite correctly. While I can’t say it has a full 100% WOW factor, it’s definitely a nice sidestep from your average Hollywood production.7½.

US Box Office

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

In this low-competition release week, Blades of Glory slides its way to the top spot. This comedy, starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as figure iceskating rivals, earns champion-worthy $33 million.
The only other competing flick was Disney’s animated movie Meet the Robinsons. With $25 million, this family can’t really complain.
Left-overs finish the top 5, respectively 300 ($11.2 million), TMNT ($9.2 million) and Wild Hogs ($8.4 million).


Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Geek that I am, whenever I need a new tooth-brush, when I’m finally standing in front of the collection at the supermarket, I always choose the most flashy, with the most features. Be it extra cross-directional brushes from some kinda super plastic, or the specially designed flexible neck.
This time I chose this one:
Oral-B Pulsar
I dare you to compare the features of my new one with your own current one !

Review: Mr. Bean’s Holiday

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

A decade has past (the first movie, Bean, was realeased in 1997), and this movie kinda comes in a bit under-hyped. A good sign for a change ? No.
With 10 years to spawn a sequel to a luke-warm received movie, itself a sequel to a highly funny series, was it enough time ? Apparently not. I now upgrage my judgement that ANY of the 18 episodes (running from 1990 till 1995) is more memorably than BOTH movies together. That’s basically because of the non-existent story and the lack of the outrageously selfish character you’ve loved to hate. This one relies on weak jokes that wouldn’t make it into one of those aforementioned episodes (also totally lacking any surprise punch to it), and a bit on Rowan Atkinson’s mime skills (again, belly-achingly funny in his Live show from 1992, but not so much here). In essence, it’s not memorable at all.5½.