Archive for January, 2009

Review: Bedtime Stories

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Another Adam Sandler vehicle, relying heavily on role-playing, but luckily, no obnoxious characters in sight (a la Waterboy), so it’s quite bearable. Clearly made for kids in mind, the fantasy outline seems nice and opens limitless possibilities, though it still leads to a pretty predictable main storyline.
British comedian Russell Brand is a good addition to the cast, while Courteney Cox is obviously typecast.
All in all, not bad for a comedy in the Sandler genre.7+.

Taiwan Report: Taipei 101 fireworks

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

In an immensely lazy movie, I start my reporting with a video that’s not even mine ! The fact is, the last day of 2008, I forgot my camera. Actually, I was thinking the search for my Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD would be an easy one. It proved not to be. And I was left New Year’s Eve cameraless.
So, here’s a YouTube link of a fairly well documented shot. Don’t forget to click the “View in high quality” link right under the video.
Of course, it’s nowhere near the quality you’d expect from me (old cam, high res widescreen 848×480 pixels, new camera 1280×720 resolution), but it’s the best you’ll have to do with (till next year, I guess). Enjoy.

Review: The Spirit

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I should’ve seen it coming. Green screens, virtual studios. It’s supposed to open a whole new world of movie making. But like Frank Miller’s previous projects (300, Sin City), it’s just dark and bleak. It’s both limiting the experience, and there’s no atmosphere to speak of.
Again, you have narrative that irritates to the bone, the same dull self exploratory dialogue that leads nowhere. It tries to be both darkly serious and funny at the same time, and acting is typically comic-ish. It would be all good and nice, if only the story would be amazing. But it wasn’t.
Go if you are both an Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and a Samuel L. Jackson fan, otherwise, let it go (along with Sin City 2 and 3 and 301).5.

Review: Twilight

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

A book to movie conversion, but somehow I think the book title must’ve been “How to make vampires boring”. Clearly written for teens, they still manage to make the story slow, and non-eventful. The vampire aspect is cliche, and only one visual aspect is introduced as something new.
Acting is the most gruelling point for this movie, with the main characters spitting out dialogue as if on the toilet with a major bowel obstruction.
Then it has to have cool vampire action in it, right ? No action is worth mentioning, both in originality and in screen time. All in all, a complete waste of time.3.

Review: Changeling

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Clint Eastwood seems to have a knack for dramas, and he spurns out one again, again directing a story based on true facts (like his previous movies Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima). How preposterous the story seems, the facts are real, and Clint shows it in a natural way. Slowly building up and going through several phases, each lighting up another aspects. Themes like supressed women come by. And the powerful female character portrayed by Angelina Jolie (award worthy), fighting for justice, rings true (again, like his previous movie, Million Dollar Baby). As a drama, Clint hits all chords with subtlety, and makes you cheer for the underdog.7½.

Happy New Year

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Happy Belated New Year to y’all. A full week too late, but hey, with at least a few Terabit internet connection lines (most notably SEA ME WE 3 and 4) severed before Christmas, the ping times reached over 1 second with all traffic from Tapei rerouted through the US first. Internet to overseas was therefore nigh impossible.
Now that I’m back in Europe, I can comfortably do everything I did before again. Watch out for more picture updates, now in 10 Mpixel ! Halfway through the journey, I picked up a new Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD, so I could ditch my old Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (other updated specs and improved functionality include 15x zoom, use of zoom _during_ filming, higher resolution movies (now at a whopping 1280×720), use of SDHC cards, use of AA batteries instead of proprietary, no need for full operation (extend lense, both unncessary and eating power) for view mode). And all that for barely the same price.