Archive for June, 2009

Summer TV

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

With the main TV season down for hiatus, a few special shows left the airwaves for good. Most painful to watch go is not a small list, namely: Eli Stone, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal, ER, My Name Is Earl, Prison Break and Pushing Daisies.
A few amusing shows came and go before I even reviewed them (My Own Worst Enemy, Life on Mars, Kings).

But now the summer is upon us and the cable shows show what they’re worth, mostly opening new medical shows, soon after the long-running ER said goodbye. With more shows opening in the fall, these are what you can watch now:

Hawthorne (TNT): Starrring (and exec produced by) Jada Pinkett Smith as a Chief Nursing Officer, as a still grieving alone mom raising a teenage kid, has to handle nurse problems, mostly antagonising doctors. Themes seem pretty straightforward, and doesn’t seem too cutting edge.

Nurse Jackie (Showtime): Nurses seem to be this years theme (with the upcoming NBC’s Mercy also being about nurses), again they have problems with their superiors. Makes one really scared to go to a hospital with the war within going on all the time and all. Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco from the Sopranos) is the central character, having a nice family, but still finds time for substance addiction and some adultry on the side. Being darker, with dryer humor, it sets itself more apart from other shows, so if Jacke and Hawthorne had to battle it out, I’d say Jackie deserves to win.

Royal Pains (USA network): Previously fired ER doc finds a new job in the wealthy suburbs of the Hamptons. Having to solve medical crisis on the spot and under the radar, it’s a McGuyver style show, filled with fancy big houses, fast cars, swimming pools and sunny beaches all around. It’s a big question how this show will survive with these elements being the only driving force. Still lightly amusing though.

Previous shows all have some character with British accent starring, but two new shows have them as the headliner.

Mental (Fox): About a psychiatrist (Chris Vance, from Prison Break, season 3) who treats his patients in unusual ways, of course, causing conflicts with some superiors and colleagues. Co-star Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400) actually has an Ozzie accent, but hides it for most TV roles.
Overall cases don’t seem too interesting though, seeing the patients deranged view of the world is not that interesting.

The Philanthropist (NBC): Corporate CEO (James Purefoy) lost his son a year ago, and somehow lands on the path of being an all-round do-gooder. Traveling all around the world (with the pilot having location shootings of Africa, including a variety of village and forest wide helicopter shots), it’s a question how long the budget will last. Slightly inspiring, though I don’t have millions to spend.

Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

It’s definitely true, the mystique and the build up of the original movie is gone. Replaced by more outrageously big war scenes and chaos, this movie is still enjoyable though. Awe-inspiringly big, I might add. Explosions in wide screen shots as you’ve never seen before.
The fast paced action is sometimes hard to follow, and remembering all the characters is a real no-go. Humor, luckily is still there, but not as subtle as before. Story isn’t first grade either, now more leveling off between a cat and mouse race and non-stop war.
The previously spotless visual effects are still there, but in a few scenes, they drop their guard and reveal some sloppiness (with the robots colors, reflectiveness and sharpness standing out). In old school explosion scenes, Michael Bay shines in making it more exiting, with dust and timing the explosions causing those “wow” scenes.
If you’re ready to get a sensory overload (both visually and auditory), this is for you. This time though, the girlfriend can stay at home (Michael Bay used a lot of nice slow-mo shots of Megan Fox, yay).8-.

Review: State of Play

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Director of the intense The Last King of Scotland, follows another gripping story, driven by investigative journalism. While the whole proceedings feels too fantasized, it’s still a thriller worth mentioning. Acting is all well on all fronts, as is the pacing and directing. Most character have those overly defined ticks making them seem stereo typical, but that’s only one of the few minor points against it.7½.

Review: The Hangover

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

By far the best comedy this year. Memorable in every way, the story just moves along, facing the unknown. As the friend group of well defined characters set out the retrieve their past steps, the many unpredictable scenes are belly-shaking funny, and really far out, while still being grounded enough the be remotely plausible. Must see.9.

Review: Terminator Salvation

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

With Christian Bale starring as John Connor, I expected something special, almost like the Batman revival. The result is a dark moody film, but nowhere near any Terminator experience (and not counting T3, as the low quality makes it escapes my memory).
This movie outline may be flawed in its roots already, it’s more than just that. The movie takes place in the future already explained in previous movies. That makes all the dots on the lines predictable, with no margin for change.
While the outcome is expected, the build up of the story, and the content of dialogue isn’t something worth to send back in time either. Even with solid acting ,this movie is not a real recommendation.6½.

One hurdle down, almost none to go….

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Someone on this picture just passed the Dutch Civic integration examination, and I can tell you it wasn’t me !


My precioussssss….

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

This is what it looks like after you’ve taken a hot air balloon flight.


And this is what it looks like if you throw titanium and diamonds together. Well, technically also an almost dying Koriander plant, which for some unknown reason I thought would serve as a nice backdrop.


Review: I Love You, Man

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Fair comedy, with nothing too spectacular to clearly remember, but Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones form a nice charming couple. Basic story is quite simple too, with Paul’s character trying to find a male friend, where he lands in awkward situations. Mostly thought, comedy depends on nonsense dialogue, where characters make up stuff on the spot.
The final result is mellow, and there are small levels of predictability, but entertaining nonetheless.7.

Courgette uglette

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Complaint through :

Courgette, een van de meest veelzijdige groente. Ze kunnen snel op alle manieren klaargemaakt worden en in vele recepten verwerkt worden. Ik eet ze elke week. En waar ze te halen dan mijn favoriete supermarkt.
Helaas is al sinds jaar en dag jullie courgette oogst of import van de laagste kwaliteit WAAR dan ook. In welk AH filiaal ik ook kom, ik kan altijd die pokdalige courgettes verwachten. Met die pukkels, lijkt het wel of ze aan een ernstige ziekte lijden. Zijn ze geoogst in hetzelfde toren in Notre Dame waar Quasimodo huist ? Of worden ze juist geimporteerd van ver, en worden ze onderweg door Somalische piraten mishandeld?
Het erge is, dat als ik in een budget supermarkt kom, ik elk courgette blind kan pakken, en weet dat het volledig gaaf, mooi donkergroen en zelfs in een beschermend plastic jasje zit. Gaan jullie hier nog wat aan doen, of moet ik bijna dagelijks rillend langs de groente-afdeling lopen, wetend dat er in elke kist GEEN enkel exemplaar te vinden is die niet alleen de tong maar ook mijn ogen doen strelen.




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Don’t you just hate those standardised replies that don’t make any sense ?