Archive for May, 2008

Around the earth in…

Friday, May 30th, 2008

…just two weeks, I guess.

Well, earth shattering news. What the gossip papers have written is totally true.

I booked a vacation trip to Taiwan !!!

Last time I stepped on an airplane was in the time when it had propellers and the most advanced type was categorised as Bi-Plane.
And actually, since my working life started over a decade ago, I never took vacations (ah well, just one week off for some local relaxing, but that’s really it). So, let’s just skip the new pc (or two) for this year (never needed one anyway, since mine was running Counterstrike:Source just fine on 1600×1200), and hop on an Airbus (I hope).

And now for the tought part, since I’m going to tech-heaven (mostly price-wise that is), Asus EEE901 or MSI Wind ? Oh oh oh, what to buy ?

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Ai ai ai. Where sequels dwindle down in quality after the second or third sequel (see Spider-Man 3 and X-Men 3), Indy had been doing quite well, every chapter as memorable as can be. Maybe it has something to do with the nostalgic eighties, but this last chapter, doesn’t quite seem to get the same feeling out of it. As a result, it feels like a big disappointment.
Where the previous ones were a continuous laughing riot, or had some memorable relationships (be it the girl, the shorty or the father), this one serious lacks in that apartment. While I’m no fan of punch lines heavy scripts, it’s exactly this that made all the Indy flicks work so well. Anyone remember the “No ticket” scene ? Hilarious, and that’s with only two words.
This movie also doesn’t have the same energy or speed or broad script and feels a little bit wooden (and that’s not only because of age). The excitement just isn’t there anymore (it was all the way up to the first minute of the movie though).
Maybe not noticable to all, but from a technical standpoint, I’d say it’s quite embarrassing that this product is from the hands of Lucas/Spielberg. Unlike the superbly well done effects from The Minority Report or War of the Worlds, the effects here are extremely noticable. Not only seems integrating effects into the scene a rushed job, extensive use the virtual sets bothers me too (too obvious lighting artifacts makes it obvious they’re inside a filming studio). This I would expect from mid-range budgeted movies, but at $185 million, it’s pretty high priced.
Then last but not least, the sci-fi ending doesn’t fit well at all. Maybe I wouldn’t have mentioned it if the other defect weren’t there, but this just tops the disappointment.
Of course, that’s not to say it’s utterly boring, because it’s still a mildly entertaining action/adventure. It just doesn’t compete with the best out there, that’s all.7-.

Review: What Happens in Vegas

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Your usual no-brainer, sit back and try to laugh kinda movie. But unfortunately, it’s still not that easy. Even with brain power set at a minimum, it’s hard to laugh. Save for an always funny Rob Corddry, the rest is as cliche as it can be, and tries to mix in a bit of seriousness towards the end (and doesn’t really succeed). With a luckily low running time, it’s hard to remember anything really funny. The only thing easy to remember is Ashton Kutcher’s same comedy acting style, for which he is probably type casted for (though his serious roles like The Butterfly Effect and The Guardian are actually pretty good).4.

Review: Be Kind Rewind

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Nice tagline for the now dead VHS rental industry, but for the movie, it has to be changed Be Smart Avoid !
I went to see this mostly because of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry, but found nothing really appealing in this one. I guess it’s because that movie was written with a more experienced writer (Charley Kaufman), and this one he does it on his own.
Sure, he shows he can be inventive with the camera with low budget, but this time around, it’s just plain cheesy. The lack of cohesion and solid story makes it almost unbearable.
Sure, another nice twist is the actual deeper message, but it’s just not enough. So again, Be Smart Avoid.4+.

Review: Taken

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Nice low budget action-thriller headlined by Liam Neeson doing an almost solo performance throughout the movie. It’s not one of the best script out there, and things are as expected, including plot outline and how the character reacts and responds. Still it’s nice to see him as a “normal” older guy kicking major raw ass (he did so in Star Wars and Batman Begins, but with added “special” powers). As that’s the main driving force, the choppy dialogue and contrived plot points are affecting only on a lesser degree. It’s at least one thumb up.7-.

Review: Iron Man

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

In the Marvel universe, disappointment still varies (the likes of Daredevil and Electra were particularly a dark spot, while latter sequels weren’t up to par either (X-Men 3 and Spidey 3)), and I was a bit wary when Jon Favreau was attached to direct. Previously filming childish movies like Elf and Zathura doesn’t bode well.
That makes Iron Man the biggest summer suprise for me (for now, since summer didn’t technically start yet). That’s because another point got me scared, the casting of Robert Downey Jr.. Surprise surprise, the director and every single cast member deliver and deliver again. The depiction of the rich playboy genius is spot-on, and it’s nice to see a transformation to a hero without fate actually forcing them (unlike Spidey, Hulk, FF4 or the X-Men, getting their powers from accidents or birth).
The story itself isn’t that broad, nor are characters that deep (basically a one man show), but hell, the adrenaline level never drops from the get-go and the coolness factor of seeing a brushed stainless steel looking design evolve into a kickass body fitting suit is utterly satisfying.
While this may not be suitable for the female half of the audience (just like seeing expensive sports cars racing around isn’t either) it ranks as one of the higher entertaining flick coming from the Marvel can. Just start the pre-production of The Avengers or Iron Man II, I tell ya (also stay till the very end of the movie for one of the most bad ass cameo in the history of film).8.