Archive for May, 2007

Review: Blades of Glory

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder pair up for this ice skating comedy. Both characters are victims of typecasting, so there’s nothing new there. Comedy wise, it’s nothing spectacularly smart, nor is it outrageously funny. With all things midde-of-the-road, the story manages to keep your attention, but it’s a very close call, with no significant B-stories to liven things up. So have a few beers before you enter the theater.6½.

Review: October Road 101 – 106

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Another late season replacement (for the axed Men in Trees) on ABC, it pairs nicely with Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday night.
It’s a small-town drama revolving around the return of Bryan Greenberg’s character, Nick Garrett, who left 10 years ago and has never returned since. In the mean time, as a writer he had success with a semi-auto-biographical novel which has become a bestseller. Hence, dealing with the past ten years will be the main focus, or at least for one or two seasons.
For now (the season is already over after 6 episodes), it seems to be geared towards a younger audience (teens to thirty-somethings), with the most simplistic form of dramatic writing about love and friendship (sometimes bordering cheesy and childish-ness). Then again, maybe it’s this simplicity that I’ve watched all of the episodes till now.
So it seems to be a good time filler if my schedule isn’t overloaded, but for incentive, they’ve thrown in a hot chick. Most people will directly think I mean the blonde hoarse voiced Scarlett Johansson lookalike Laura Prepon from That 70’s Show, but I’m actually pointing to the brown-haired, up and coming star (my prediction), but most importantly ultra-hot-chick Odette Yustman, who’s so fresh, there are still no respectable fan-sites to be seen and only a handful of decent publicity pics *hint for her manager/publicist*.
As you can see, with season 2 still uncertain, I’d say its future is only bright if they intend to keep Odette in the loop. As only 2 other guests got preemptively bumped to regulars (locking them up for a possible second season), logic would suggest I’ll be leaving October Road behind pretty soon.

Review: The Fountain

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Everythin Darren Aronofsky touches, will become too weird to be described. I’ve seen the ultra-depressing Requiem for a Dream, but the story outline for this movie even mentioned sci-fi elements. So why not give the guy another chance.
*NNGGGG* Wrong move. In this one, he tries to marry 3 absolutely unrelated stories into one, with all the inconsistencies still attached. And he does it in the boring way, where you wanna chew off your own leg before the first half hour is over. You can try to focus on his composer buddy Clint Mansell’s score, you can try to admire the acting of Hugh Jackman/Rachel Weisz, but you still wanna break off your own fingers.
All in all, if you wanna indulge in this meta-physical surreal bull-crap for 90 minutes (and you like his previous work), this is probably for you. Otherwise, save yourself, run away, whatever it takes.5-.

US Box Office

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Spidey 3 comes slinging in, and that in a big way. The most expensive movie ever manages to smash all records and webs in $148 million (beating Pirates 2, last year with $135.6 million).
Leaving most movies empty-seated, Disturbia settles for a nice second place, with $5.7 million. Fracture actually climbs one spot to number 3, with $3.5 million (still dropping 49%). Rounding out the top 5 are miserable left-overs The Invisble with $3.1 million and Next with $2.8 million.

Review: Spider-Man 3

Monday, May 7th, 2007

The biggest movie around (beating King Kong’s and Titanic’s previous record budget), and second sequel for this franchise. With a comfortable 3 year gap (previous gap was 2 years), things are looking good. This just had to be better than the phenomenal Spider-Man 2.
But details on paper though, had a few other things that could concern you. Academy Awards winning SFX producer John Dykstra took off, and there are no experienced screen writers on board (previously David Koepp and duo Alfred Gough & Miles Millar).
After seeing the movie, I think the last negative points did influence the outcome a bit. There were quite a few instances where you didn’t have to look hard to find the CGI actor replacements on the screen, whereas previously you kind of had to really guess.
Also, the story setup isn’t like it was before. Less coherence, to adjust for less well-written villains, in an effort to appeal to a wider range of audience. Screenplay is now in the hands of Sam Raimi himself, with help from his brother Ivan. But I think they’ve become a bit rusty, and lacking depth. Even then, the topics are less identifiable (even a tad other-worldy) and resonates much much less than before (and hence, less memorable).
That being said, it’s still one hell of a popcorn-flick. You’ll enjoy it, but not quite as much as the previous wallcrawlers.7½.

Joost Njet-a

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

You’ve heard’m, probably. Skype’s founders gone Internet TV. Skype has always been fun (even though I have it installed, I barely use it. Then again, that could be the lack of friends, not the program itself). But this Joost thingy, I had to check out. Rolling into the beta stage, I don’t mind either. Be it Gmail, or a new Windows version, I’ll try it for ya.
But with Joost, something else is going on. The first step into the beta process, I downloaded a non-functional program (it kept spitting out something about a network error). Now WEEKS later, the program (a new download) works and and the actual sign-up process could be finished.
But now, the actual TV viewing still isn’t working. The channel list is only filled with a fraction of what’s been promised. And the list goes on and on and on, even though I like the snappy flashy user interface.
So, there’s an elaborate Invite Friends widget built-in, even with a status list, where you can keep track which friends have activated their invite. Lemme tell you, I’ll spare you the annoying COMING UP screen. I’ll spare you the waiting for the black screen. I’ll spare you the worst Beta experience ever (even Windows Vista in its earliest stages, as slow as it was, did function). Don’t believe the hype, just keep on torrenting. It’s not like I had time to watch third or fourth grade TV reject programs anyway.
Not very Joost

Review: Season Finales

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Early season finales this year, a bunch have already finished before the traditional May closings. Here’s a round up:

Monk/Psych: For both series, it’s major fun to see the main characters go out on a new mission every week, and they have been doing so at the same level of funniness. Both haven’t been boring once, and together, they’re a winning team (even though I thought it wouldn’t because the few similarities).

Prison Break: A whole season with a totally different feel than its first season. But while out in the open, it’s still as nail-bitingly thrilling as ever. The last second of the season finale is enough to mark your calendar already (probably 29th August).

Battlestar Galactica: Again, a season full of diversity, full range of drama and good use of characters. New revelations and new questions will keep this series going for quite a few more years. And like always, they now how to cliffhang you in a bad way. With a loooong break waiting (Jan 2008), the writers will have enough time to refuel their creative energy to put together another mind-blowing season.

Punk’d: Supposedly the last season (again), the pranks and guests are at their usual level. Sometimes funny, sometimes cheesy. Nothing really big either (no big explosions or something). And since it’s not too memorable, this being the last season might be a good thing.

US Box Office

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Extremely quiet at the box office, and that means more ogling at the neighbours at the top spot for the third straight week. Disturbia takes in $9 million and a total of $52 million, which isn’t bad at all for a low-budget teen thriller.
Another teen thriller (with mystery/fantasy elements), The Invisible enters at number 2, and its lack of opacity might have influenced its lowly $7.7 million premiere.
Next up is Next, the uneventful action-thriller takes in $7.1 million, enough for a spot at number 3. I don’t need to see in the future to know this movie will bomb big time.
Left-overs round out the top five, with Fracture and Blades of Glory resp. $6.8 and $5.1 million.