Paris Je T’aime

•September 25, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I went to see Paris Je T’aime yesterday. I saw the trailer a while ago and, since I love the city, I immediately wanted to see this movie. The fact that it was a collection of 16 short movies by 16 directors also helped.

So yesterday after work I headed over to the cinema, as it was playing quite early, and finally saw it. And as expected, I loved it. What you get is 16 completely different short films, about 7 to 8 minutes a piece, all filmed in Paris, all with different actors, some famous (Willem Dafoe, Natalie Portman, etc.), some unknown (at least to me they were), and all shot in a different area or neighbourhood. They had one thing in common though: love. Every short film was about love in one way or another; young love, the love for a late son, the love for a grandchild, the love for a city, any kind of love.

Some were really touching, some were funny, others were quite unexpected, but all were amazingly well done. One of the things that I liked best is that two of the most famous actors in it, Steve Buscemi and Elijah Wood, didn’t say a word during their screen-time. Willem Dafoe only had one or two lines, as did Gerard Depardieu. The only famous actors who had a lot of lines were Nick Nolte and Natalie Portman.

Most of the shorts are in French, some in English, some both. One is in French, but ‘read’ by an American woman who’s just started learning the language and is reading her experiences in Paris to a class, or rather, the audience, which makes for some funny mispronunciations.

I’d say that, even if you hate the French, this movie is very much worth seeing. Preferably with your partner of course, but on your own or with some friends will do just as fine. In the end you’ll have seen a wonderful film, or rather, 16 wonderful films. This one gets five out of five, for sure. I can’t wait to go back to Paris.

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Click (Warning, contains spoilers)

•September 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I know it’s not a new movie, and I didn’t see it at the cinemas, but I just wanted to get it done with because it kinda surprised me.

For those who don’t know, Click is an Adam Sandler movie, about this guy getting a remote that controls the universe. You guessed it, a universal remote.  At first it all seems amazing, but eventually it turns out to be a gift from Hell. The remote starts FFWD-ing his life automatically, he misses years and years of his life while he gets everything he dreamed off. He makes promotions, gets rich, but loses his wife, pets, everything in the progress. Oh come on, it’s an old one, you should’ve seen it by now. Besides, I warned you.

Anywho, the ending kinda caught me off guard. I kept expecting him to hit the rewind button, which would -at least in my logical sense of mind- have solved everything, all’s well that ends well. But instead, he gets old, loses everything and eventually dies of a heartattack in the middle of the street, surrounded by his family. “Family comes first.” Clear message in this movie.
Of course, then he wakes up in a bed at Bed, Bath & Beyond and all is well after all.

This matches my expectations of a happy ending. But before that happened, you get punched in the face by reality. And that’s the part I liked.  ‘Real Life’ jumps up and kicks you in the nuts. The guy gets old, loses everything he has over a job and eventually dies miserable in the cold rain. How dramatic could it get, right? But think about it…how many people live like this? Working as hard as they can because they want their retirement to be in order before they reach the heart attack they have scheduled for their 47th birthday, forgetting about family and friends, spending all of their free time at the office or calling to the office during dinner?
It kinda makes ya think. Or at least I hope it does. Anywho, it’s he ‘surprise ending’ that made this movie worth the while for me. That and Christopher Walken.

Four out of five, but without Walken it would’ve been three out of five.

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1408

•September 8, 2007 • 2 Comments

Usually, when I hear there’s a new Stephen King-based movie, I’m a bit sceptic. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, and I’m a big fan of his books, but most of the time those movies just don’t get quite to that point where they’re actual good movies. There’s a few, of course, Dreamcatcher did the trick, but mostly I think about movies like Cujo, It, the Stand, all good movies in essence, but not quite there yet. I had also read the short synopsis on the back of the bundle ‘1408’ is featured in, and I wasn’t all that enchanted by it. Guy, hotelroom, spooky stuff. I’ve read the Shining, you know.

Last friday though, I felt like seeing a movie, so I called a friend and told her I wanted to see Hairspray, kinda. Shut up, I defend myself by saying once again that I like bad movies. She didn’t want to see it though, so I looked through the other options. 1408 was one of them, so I decided to give it a shot and checked out the trailer. I was pleasantly surprised. First off, John Cusack took the lead, which is usually a good thing. Samuel L. Jackson was also in it, which is usually a good thing. The effects didn’t look half bad, which is usually a good thing. And the weird bits they showed got my attention, which is a good thing.

So we went to see 1408. It was awesome. Front to end there was only one moment where I got a bit upset, but then it turned out they had played a trick and everything went back to A-OK. It was uncomfortably freaky at times, and it’s been months since I didn’t hear one single thing in a movietheater during the silent parts of the movie. You could literally hear a pin drop. All in all I’d have to say that this is one of the good Stephen King movies, even better than Dreamcatcher,  and I had a good time seeing it. It’s been a fair while since the last time I got startled more than once. Good times, five out of five.

Next time, it’ll be either Paris Je T’Aime, which I want to see really badly, or Planet Terror. Stay tuned for more useless movie reviews. At least I don’t give away the plot.

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The Sziget-party in Delft

•September 4, 2007 • 1 Comment

As promised, here’s the whole report of what happened last Friday night. But first, a short introduction. You’ll be seeing the name Dennis a lot. Dennis is the guy who invited me to the party. He lives in Delft, and I met him on the bus to Sziget. We exchanged e-mails, kept in touch and one thing led to another, so there I was, my first time in Delft, ready to go to a party. Which brings us, without further ado, to the story…

I told Dennis I’d meet him at the trainstation around 4pm, so that we could grab something to eat before we headed for the Triangel (Party-location). I ended up missing my train by one minute because I spent a little too long deciding on which book I’d buy to read on the train. Eventually I went with ‘The Broker’ by John Grisham. I arrived in Delft around 5pm, Dennis picked me up and we headed for his appartment.
We spent about half an hour talking about movies, compared my collection to his, and then he told me he had to get a birthdaygift for Roana, a friend of his, so we headed out. Our first stop was the Koornbeurs, a place below the Triangel, where basically most of Dennis’ friends hang out. We had our first beers, played some pinball, and then decided we were hungry. We went to a pizzeria called ‘Dennis Pizza’. Funny coincidence, that. After we were done (He had a Four Cheeses pizza, I had a shoarma one, 5 bucks each. And they were good, too! Unbelievable!) we went to get a present for his friend. We ended up at a Free Record Shop (Contrary to what the name states, the records are not free…) where I bought the 300 2-disc steelcase edition.
Then we went to a bar Dennis frequents, of which I forgot the name, and had another beer. A fruity one this time. I spilt some over my sleeve…the night was already much like Sziget, as we predicted. After we finished out beers we headed back over to the Koornbeurs, met up with Roana, and basically just talked to people, drank beer and generally had a good time.

Around iunno what time (Time sort of lost it’s tracks on me this evening…) we headed upstairs. When we arrived at the Triangel, there were like 5 other people there. We had another beer, talked a bit more, and all of a sudden it was midnight and Roana’s birthday. Naturally, we congratulated her, and then decided to go back upstairs, where there were more interesting people.
This is where the memories start getting blurred. We sat down at a table and I remember general conversation about STD’s, plus me making jokes about Dennis because he’s gay. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, he’s just the first gay dude I can crack jokes about without him getting mad at me. I wasn’t really sober at that time, so I helped myself to a big serving of gay-jokes. After a while it got boring and I started talking to a guy that frequents Tilburg, the city I’m from. Yet another while later we were joined by Moniek, which brings me to a small side-story.

I didn’t notice it at the time, but apparently, as soon as this girl joined us, Dennis was trying to get my attention away from her. I’m still not sure why, but he explained it to me the next day. Don’t really remember that either though. Anyways, I was talking to her, and since the alcohol was starting to catch up to me and I was eager to get to the party, I agreed to go upstairs to the Triangel with her. I finished my beer and was halfway across the bar when Dennis stopped me to ask me where I was going. Little did I know, he was actually holding me back so that I wouldn’t go with that girl. It succeeded, because when I’m drunk my attentionspan is zero, and as soon as I lost her out of my sight I went right back to hanging out with Dennis and a friend he told me he hadn’t seen in a while, so I had to tell her my Amsterdam story again. Which brings me to another side-story.

A short while ago I was reading bash.org, which I occasionally do when I’m bored, and came across this story. Of course, it cracked me up and I had to share it with someone, so I posted the link to Dennis. Ever since he read it he’s been telling it to everyone he could tell it to, and when I was in Delft myself, he kept telling me to tell the story to everyone. I didn’t mind it much, but in the end I think I must’ve told it about 7 times. Even yesterday he told me to tell it to his sister over MSN. It’s ok, it’s just too bad that it’s not my own story, that would’ve been more amusing. I’m an honest man though, everytime I told it, I mentioned that I wasn’t there and had just read it. Yep, no corrupt soul here.

So, back to the party. We were down in the Koornbeurs still (I think), when Dennis brought me my first dropshot of that evening. Dropshot is evil. It’s liquid liquorice, mixed with alcohol. I had it once before, years ago, but never again since that night. Dennis told me to do the shot, so naturally I downed it in one go. After a small while he brought me another one, and again I downed it smoothly, followed by a beer.
Eventually we decided to go back upstairs again, and when we got there the crowd had grown exponentially. We grabbed another beer and started dancing. By that time I was drunk enough to comfortably dance amongst a big crowd. This was also around the time I started pulling out my camera to take pictures of everyone I came across. Not that I knew any of them though. Some of them were Dennis’ friends, some of them were complete strangers. Most of them loved the camera though.

A few moments later (Later than what? I don’t even know anymore…) Dennis brought me another dropshot, and I decided to let him meet my favourite drink, being gin & juice. Yup, that’s my favourite. I can’t help it, it’s all Kevin’s fault, he introduced me to it a long time ago. Anyways, after I downed the dropshot and drank my gangster-mix, I started to notice that my stomach was rebelling. I told Dennis I didn’t feel to well and I was going outside to catch a breath of fresh air. Two minutes later I was hanging over a railing, puking into the moats of Delft. Dropshot turned out to be my kryptonite.
A few yards down the road, some guys were cheering me on, so I did what I do best, I made an ass of myself. I threw up the horns at them and cheered right back. They loved it. There was also this guy, who…I don’t know, we talked, and I went back inside and met up with Dennis, who asked me how I was doing. I told him I was fine fine and made him go buy another round of beers.

That’s all I can really remember. The rest is just fragments of the remainder of the evening. I remember going back downstairs after the Triangel closed down. I remember having more dropshots, ignoring it’s dangerous, kryptonian effects on me. I remember staggering doen the streets of Delft. I remember puking in Dennis’ toilet. That’s about it. The camera does remember, however, since we kept on using it.
Two videos presented itself when I looked back at the pictures we took, two videos that I don’t remember at all. There’s this one, which I shot myself, and this one, which was shot by Dennis. The first time I saw these things was last Sunday, two days after the party, when I charged my battery (It had gone dead near the end of the evening, since there aren’t any pictures of me puking. Dennis took some with his phone though, they’ll be up here soon enough.) and hooked it up to the TV. The further I skipped through the images, the less I seemed to remember. According to the timestamp on the last picture it was around 4:30 when we headed home. The next morning I asked Dennis how we got home, and he told me we took a cab. I have no recollection whatsoever about riding a cab, but according to my back transcript, I did yank some cash from an ATM to pay for it. He also told me I didn’t went to sleep untill 6:30, which means I’ve been puking for two hours before finally laying down and falling asleep. Or slipping into a coma, that’s probably a more accurate description.

So there you have it. My first night in Delft and I can’t remember half of it. I did have a good time though. If you’re interested, you can find all of the pictures right here.
Next time Dennis’ll be coming to Tilburg, which means we’re gonna party on my terms. One thing is for sure, there will be no more dropshot. I’ll punch anyone who offers it to me.

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Photographic Phancyness

•August 30, 2007 • Leave a Comment

It’s here, my fancy new camera! I went for the Olympus μ820 (link in Dutch), which is pretty much the same one as Tennie has. He told me it was a good camera, and it’s all kinds of fancy when it comes to specs, so I figured why the Hell not.
In short, it’s got 8.0 megapixel, a 2,7″ LCD screen, 5x optical zoom, it’s weather resistant and it’s so very, very tiny (99,6 x 55,1 x 24 mm)

I also created that photobucket account, which you can find right here. There’s one picture in the random album so far, which is basically me trying out the quality. It works. Tomorrow will be the real test, since tomorrow I’ll be taking it with me to it’s first ever party. I am only expecting hilarity to ensue, so keep an eye out for those pics.

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The Simpsons Movie

•August 29, 2007 • 1 Comment

I went to see it a short while ago, because my brother and his girlfriend were going and didn’t mind me tagging along. All in all, it overcame my expectations. I’m a moderate fan of the series and I hoped they ket to that formula, unlike some other movies I’ve seen before.
I’ve seen it happen that a series got their own film, but then the film completely missed the goal, being that it didn’t conserve the ‘magic’ that made the series. The Simpsons nailed it though. It started with some blunt remarks towards the people in the movietheater (At an Itchy & Scratchy movie, Homer stands up, turns towards the audience and says something like ‘Why are we paying to see something we get for free on our TVs?’), and throughout the movie there’s plenty of subtle stabs at Fox as usual.

The story itself is, in all it’s ridcule, a good one. Of course, it’s still the Simpsons, so don’t expect anything serious, but even for those standards i’s not half bad. Top it off with some funnies during the end titles, like the Springfield ‘anthem’ (Some made up words on the French anthem’s melody) and you’ve got yourself a fun night out. I definately recommend it to everyone. 4 out of 5.

The Next Generation has arrived!

•August 29, 2007 • Leave a Comment

In the form of ‘Next-Gen’ console XBox 360. I bought one last Monday, and I have to say I like it. I like it so much I’ve been doing pretty much nothing else than just sit on my ass and play Forza 2, which came with the bundle.
I also bought Transformers, TMNT and Gun.  I’m kind of racing my way through TMNT right now. I like it though, it’s got nifty controls and sometimes you’ve got the feeling you’re just flying through levels. The fighting gets a bit onesided though, because basically the Turtles keep doing the same moves again and again. But later in the game you get to switch between Turtles and they can help eachother out. It’s pretty handy at times.
As for Transformers, it’s cool. I thought it’d be like that one Hulk game, you can’t transform unless the situation allows, but it’s not like that at all. You get free roaming through the city/areas, and you can transform whenever you want. So far I’ve played as Bumblebee, Blackout, and that scorpion thing that comes out of Blackout, but I’m assuming that the further you progress, the more Transformers you’ll play.
Forza 2 then, which I’ve been playing most of the time. I haven’t played much racing games besides the Underground series, but I like Forza. It took some getting used to at first, but when I got the hang of it I couldn’t stop playing. I have yet to play Gun, but I’ll come to that soon enough.
As far as the whole Next-Gen graphics stuff goes, The games look good, and the gameplay is smooth and fast, so no complaints there. The console itself does make a bit of noise though, due to fans and all that. All in all, I’m pretty happy with it.

In other news, tomorrow I’m going to get a new digital camera. We have one old camera, which isn’t very high quality, and it’s technically my parents’ camera, so I decided to get my own. The reason I did is basically because I saw Tennie’s camera on Sziget, liked it, and wanted one too. This went prefectly with my ideas of getting a new digital camera, so tomorrow I’m going to see if I can find a proper one. I’m taking it with me to that Sziget-party I might or might not have mentioned, and then maybe even a party the day after, so expect lots of pictures. I’m going to make a Photobucket account for this weblog with free access to all, so you can check out everything I’m up to. I’m eventually going to try and set up a website that hosts the pictures, but untill then, Photobucket it is.

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