Archive for April, 2008

Review: The Ruins

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I know I know, I’ve burnt myself too many times with the horror genre. And again I did it. This time I was a bit curious what comic Ben Stiller had to bring to this genre, and the answer is simple. Nothing. Nothing at all.
The story plays around only 5 persons. The location is fixed too. There are no extreme thrills or scares, so the only thing noticable is seeing the budget constraints at work.
The same titled book of novelist turned screen writer Scott B. Smith earned him a rave review from fellow scarer Stephen King, but it feels like we’re talking about two totally different things. Maybe that’s exactly the joke that Ben Stiller was trying to play on us. Cruel if I really had to pay for the ticket (which I luckily did not).4+.

Review: Dan in Real Life

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Steve Carell in a movie where he plays a normal character again. Without him playing an extreme type, his performance almost seems human (which made Little Miss Sunshine so refreshing). Sadly, in this overly simple plot outline, it’s just too boring. The story and dialogue are just plain trivial. Add a little bit of predictability and you may think Evan Almighty was kick ass (which was not). A hotter female love interest would’ve been nicer too (Juliette Binoche).5½.

Kick Ass

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Geek-wise, it’s a kick ass week.

What others have accomplished:

Windows XP Service Pack 3 has released to Technet subscribers, and shortly after that is has been released to the public (through legally uncertain channels).
Since the release of SP2 more than 3 years ago, I had to manually down 148 patches and use a batch file to update (still faster than Windows Auto Update and doesn’t waste useless bandwidth). Of course, it just means the counter can be reset to 0, since I probably have to continue to do this for quite some more time (probably a year or so untill Bill personally stuffs a Vista retail package down your throat)

What I (kinda) have accomplished:

A fully fledged KUbuntu server ready to do a full UNATTENDED KUbuntu client install (client must be PXE enabled of course). Well, not totally true though, it’s set to default to jump to memtest after 10 seconds, I don’t wanna ruin anyone’s hard drive who comes into the office and connects his computer or notebook.
Hmm, I wonder why I couldn’t accomplish this earlier with my favorite distro, Mandriva.

Review: Street Kings

Monday, April 21st, 2008

A well-shot cop drama actioner composed of ambiguous loyalty, fast paced action with raw violence and drowned in some dry humor. Keanu Reeves, Chris Evans and Forest Whitaker have solid roles, with the usual dark twists that is involved with the thin line between corruptness and blind loyalty. Utterly enjoyable, though not that profound or deep.8-.

Review: Vantage Point

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Title and a flashy trailer says it all, a story bringing together 8 points of view. The end product playing out in front of you is a little bit more simplified though, less points of views, and an ending that leaves both the narrative style and believability.
Almost 75% of the movie is quite engaging, with single point of views revealing bits of the story, but somehow this style can’t be carried on too long, and the ending is like any other generic action flick (including fast forwarded car racing scenes filmed in narrow streets).
Don’t expect to see any character’s inside (no reason is given for the antagonists motives), and only go if you want to see a “normal” action thriller, because if you expect somethign unique, you will be let down.7+.

Review: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Friday, April 18th, 2008

A typical indie thriller, low budget, but good acting. Ethan Hawke excellently displays a younger weaker somewhat nervous brother, while Philip Seymour Hoffman takes care of the big brother role. Both have anything dialogue and inner turmoil to shine.
The story concept is nice, but here and there predictable. It doesn’t need that much details, and relies more on the relationships and the thrillery moments. All in all, pretty enjoyable for a darkish drama.7+.

Review: Ben & Jerry’s Jamaican Me Crazy

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The first salvo of Ben & Jerry’s new low fat marketing strategy, and this one actually has no fat at all (they’re just not telling you sorbet is made of 50% sugar).
As the picture shows, this flavor is Chunkey Pineapple Sorbet with Passionfruit Swirls. First of all, it ain’t chunkey enough, though, all the sorbets I know aren’t chunkey at all, but still… Then I can’t even taste the passion fruit swirls. In the end, it’s still a normal sorbet, and it doesn’t set itself apart like the other rich flavors with great contrasting texture. So, here’s a nice, but not special grade.7-. (Admittedly, the phonetically hilarious word play title had me rolling on the floor for a while)
Ben & Jerry's Jamaican Me Crazy

Review: The Hunting Party

Monday, April 7th, 2008

The movie, very loosely based on some mild facts, is entertaining throughout, and has a few insights and crude conclusions to share. Acting is up to par (Richard Gere, Terrence Howard), pacing and tone (drama with some dark-ish humore) are tuned quite alright. If you’re in for an utterly embellished story but with enough true facts to keep it grounded, this is the one for you.

Review: Untraceable

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Geek that I am, against better judgement, I went to see this movie. It was to be expected, it didn’t have a chance, and the feeling proved to be correct.
The dialogue alone is horrible, and upon an imdb lookup, it was clear why (2 x first time scripters). The story though, was pretty much big crap too, up to a point where you laugh at the dumbness of the “good guy” characters if they walk into another trap again.
Seems the director (Gregrory Hoblit) is a money grubbing sell-out, having previously delivered solid thrillers like Frequency, Primal Fear and Fracture, but diving head first in with such a horrible script.4+.

Review: Reservation Road

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

An okay drama only, so kind of a disappointment, since the movie is filled with dependable actors like Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly and Elle Fanning.
With death involved, the drama part is naturally high… for a moment. After that, it’s mostly predictable and the story doesn’t really progress. Luckily, with this bunch of good actors, even if the movie limps a bit, it’s not boring.7-.