Posts filed under ‘Reviews’

Movie Review: Oceans 13

“So… We’ll put a bunch of really famous guys (yeah, this is a guy-movie, the female lead is nowhere NEAR as famous as the male leads) and another bunch of kind-of-famous actors. And we’ll let them wear a bunch of designer clothes, cool gizmos and set it all in Las Vegas. And the rest will solve itself.”

“Don’t you need a script, Mr Rich & Crazy Producer, sorry, Mr Weintraub?”

“Quiet, you! The rest will solve itself!!!”

“Still, Sir, won’t the public demand an understandable story, some action, some romance, some comedy or even some excitement?”

“They didn’t demand any of those things in the previous movies, did they? As the normal audience is to dumb to understand even the most basic movie, it’s no use even to try to write a logic and understandable story”.

“But… what about the reviewers? Won’t they spot this obvious lame attempt at just earning money from celebrities?”

“No, and even if they do, we’ll make it blatantly obvious that we would like to bribe them, in fact, let’s make the suffering and later rich rewards of the reviewer an entire story arc!”

“You are brilliant, Sir!”

“Let’s get high and drive while intoxicated to celebrate my brilliance, the Hollywood way!”

Now, to be honest, I MIGHT have made up the conversation above. At least the last quite about brilliance and driving. But I have a feeling that the something along those lines must have been uttered at some time during the process of making Oceans 13. It is a horrible movie. To long, to dumb, to far from being even slightly reasonable. And such a HUGE cock-fest (I am referring to roosters, stop having such a dirty mind) that it is simply amazing that this kind of crap gets made at all, let alone on a major release.

Verdict: Don’t see. Seriously.  

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June 20, 2007 at 13:07 Leave a comment

Quick Watch Review: CASIO FELITE LWA-110DE-1

I don’t normally wear watches. In fact, ever since I started to carry a cell phone with me at all times, the need for a dedicated watch around my wrist have all but vanished. I still have a couple of old ones, most notably an old Certina titanium watch and a Sigma Pulse Measuring watch. The Certina is really nice and slim, but sadly quite lacking when it comes to features. Analog time and date, that’s it. The Sigma Watch has a bunch of features, but looks like a East-German copy of Casios ugliest watch. And I am not all that fond of its functions either. Probably gonna have to buy another sports watch at some time. One with bunches of laps and more specifically a good set of timers.

Still, after trying on ordinary watches for a while I found myself liking the concept. Not loving it, mind you, but the fact is that it is easier to look at a watch than to pull up a cellphone, especially while traveling. Oh, and yes, I like gizmos. So I wasn’t hard to convince.

I have always been quite found of watches that sync themselves to atomic time. I have two alarm-clocks that does that at home, and it is a neat function, that works really well, mostly. So I started to look for that function i watches. Junghans makes some that looks really good, but costs a small fortune. Casio have started to manufacture a quite large selection, but thos watches are huge. Far to big for my small arms. Serendipity lead me to check out local on-line auction site Tradera, and I found the Casio Felite LWA-110DE-1 there.

Casio Felite

The watch looks quite nice. For a supposed ladies watch it is HUGE, for a male watch (according to current trends) it is quite small, but for my arms and hands it is a perfect size. I would call it unisex-size. The analog dials are easy to see, but it is notable that there is no dials for seconds, seconds are shown digitally only. The digital screen is inverted, making it look more discrete, and in my opinion, better. The current feel among watch-heads is that inverted displays are harder to see, so perhaps my feelings will change over time. For now, I like the look of the watch. The band is in polished metal. I find it to be a bit heavy, but that is something I’ll get used to rather quickly, I suppose. It does look nice, though.

When it comes to features the most apparent is of course the atomic time sync. It works automatic at nights, but can also be done manually. It takes a couple of minutes for the  watch to sync time, and it is notable that the atomic sync syncs both the analog and the digital time, something I did not expect it to do, so that was a nice bonus. It also have world time pre-programmed for a bunch of cities, useful when traveling,  as well as a stop watch (with just basic features) as well as a basic timer. And an LED-display light, day, date etc.

The set up was rather easy, you just needed to set up what time-zone you were in, and adjusting the band was not hard, although it demanded specific tools. Wearing the watch is a good experience (once again, the weight).

All in all I am quite happy with the purchase. I paid 385 Swedish Kronor for the watch, including delivery, which I think is a great price. The delivery from the seller (pak65) was speedy, and the packaging good.

June 20, 2007 at 12:49 1 comment

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz is a parodic movie, made by the same gang that made the wonderful Shaun of the Dead, and not to forget, “Spaced”, one of the better sit-coms in a long, long time. I was, however, more impressed with Shaun than this movie, even though it is a brilliant movie. While I do enjoy Simon Peggs performance, he isn’t really convincing as a top-cop, sadly. What is really brilliant is the sudden, and actually unexpected, turn into wonderful, violent mayhem that occurs a bit into the movie. There are some nice splatter-moments, to be sure, and a lot of parodic scenes, of course. All in all, a very good movie, but not quite up to what I expected.

Verdict: Must See

June 8, 2007 at 14:43 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Breach

Breach is a very good spy-movie. That’s about it, actually, but you’ll probably want me to elaborate a bit? Well, ok… First of, it is well acted. Ryan Phillippe is starting to become a really good actor, but the real master here is the awesome Chris Cooper who really steals the show. This is Oscar material performance, if there ever was one. If it is possible to get an Oscar for playing one of the worst traitors to America, ever, and making him kind of likable. What makes this movie so good, however, is that it is slow, but still tight. It doesn’t concern itself (mostly) with actions and guns, but rather on the development relationships, and the depth of personalities. And it does this really good, in contrast to, for instance, the rather poor The Good Shepherd, that aimed for pretty much the same feeling, but failed so miserably by being boring. This movie, however, is far from boring, especially since one knows it is based on actual events.

Verdict: Must See

June 3, 2007 at 23:03 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a strange movie. Action-packed, ridiculously violent (although there’s not a single drop of blood, all to please the people setting the age limits. Disney have a strange way of making kid movies filled with violence). The story is quite simple, but still leads to an amazingly complicated end battle. Yes, it is a fun flick, and well worth seeing, but it is a far cry from the first movie. It is a bit too much over the top for my taste, and at 2 hours 40 minutes I kind of doubt that the kids can keep their attention up.

Oh, and yes, it is interesting that the movie so obviously likes pirates, and claims that they are the heroes (although they kind of live by killing and pillaging) by claiming that they fight for freedom… While at the same time the studios are battling so fiercely against piracy (of movies and music) by trying to limit the freedom om customers (by DRM). Perhaps we’ll see a movie in 200 years detailing the struggles of the movie pirates against the evil cooperations that want to enslave them? Perhaps, but probably not done by Disney…

Verdict: See

June 1, 2007 at 11:32 1 comment

Review: LaptopCooler

Suddenly I find myself enjoying the pleasure of working with a laptop in my lap. In fact, I prefer it even to working at my desktop, at home or at work. Yeah, it suits me to have this nice, lazy, style of work. Ergonomically, I actually think that it might be preferable to the desktop, but who knows, really? I have a very small laptop, and IBM x40, which is a really nice machine, even if the hard disk is painfully slow. The size is just right for working at, even for extended periods of time.

The major problem with having a laptop in your lap is that it is probably going to put some heat to your groin area. A lot of heat. There are scientist claiming potential reproductive problems, but I am doubtful. What stands clear, however, is that there is a lot of discomfort in having a hot laptop in your lap for long periods of time.

As I do not like noisy fan-based solutions, I decided to try something else. A high-tech tray with some built-in cooling materials (Phase Change Material), that acts like ice, that is, slowly liquefying in order to keep your laptop cooler, and your lap cooler to.  The materials have been developed by Climator. The product costs 400 Swedish crowns, roughly $55 usd.

The LaptopCooler is a little bigger than my laptop, but that is to be expected as my laptop is really small. It sits comfortably in my lap, and does in fact keep the heat down. After using it for about four to five hours, the effect start to fade, and once again I feel the (non-dirty) heat starting to develop in my groin area. The LaptopCooler should return to its ordinary state after a couple of hours in room temperature, or even less in a cooler environment, such as the fridge.

So, what do I think about the product? I don’t know. It makes the experience of laptop burns less noticeable, but it is kind of expensive. It adds bulk to the laptop, it weights close to a kilo, and therefore probably is not something you would like to carry around. If you work a lot with a laptop in your office, as I do, it is probably something you should take a look at. If you are planning to use it for more than say four hours straight, you are going to need two of them, or a good freezer nearby, further adding to the complications.

I like the concept. I find it a little too expensive, and a little too heavy if I’m going to recommend it to everyone, but if you have the same kind of situation as me, then by all means, try it. Just be prepared for a less than optimal solution.

May 10, 2007 at 14:53 Leave a comment

Movie Review: Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 is supposedly one of the most expensive films ever. And it shows. So, it is impossible to not recommend seeing it, if nothing else just to see what kind of movie you get for unlimited funding. You do get an impressive movie. But not necessarily a good movie. The qualities of SM3 are obvious. It looks and sounds great. There are a lot of awesome action scenes. Bruce Campell has a small part. Yay for Bruce! Venom is in the movie! Spider-Man wears his black suite/parasite. So it should be just amazing, right? Wrong. Where the first two movies, and especially the second, managed to capture the dilemma of being spider-man, the hopelessness and the problems, this movie focuses too much of Parkers love for MJ, mechanically played by snaggle-tooth herself, Kirsten Dunst. The addition of Gwen Stacy does not really upset the balance either, and Bryce Dallas Howard doesn’t manage to capture the allure of Gwen anyhow. She just doesn’t fit the part. Topher Grace plays the bad guy much like McDonalds make gourmet food; it is hard to forget where they come from. Topher barely works in a sit-com, but not here. Tobey goes on auto pilot, and manages to do a decent spider-man. The fact that he looks like a complete fool when trying to be cool is certainly a well thought out plan.

The good stuff? Thomas Haden Church is very, very good. Bruce Campbell is always entertaining. The story is kind of weak, but that is expected, this is a movie based on a comic book. There are ample betrayal, action, things flying around, honesty, bravery and romance. And an ugly moped.

So where did the movie go wrong then? I think it gave up on the characters. One of the things that attracted me to the comic books (yes, I am a comic book fan) is the variety of the stories, and the depth of the characters. And, yes, the development. Here the way the characters develops are given from the beginning, no surprises, and really just a distance to travel between the action scenes. In short: Everyone loves spider-man in this movie. His life is working well. No big problems at home, no apparent financial problems. Kind of… the opposite of the spider-man we love from the comics, and the previous films. Sad, really.

Verdict: See (obviously you should see the movie anyhow, even if it isn’t good. It is, after all, ridiculously expensive).

May 8, 2007 at 20:53 3 comments

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