Microblog: A very long article Wikipedia article on the orientation of toilet paper [Jun 7th, 22:52] [R]

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325703/

© IMDB.com

The Cradle of Life is the second Tomb Raider movie. An earthquake in Santorini reveals an ancient temple built by Alexander the Great. Lara Croft goes there and discovers a strange, luminous orb. As soon as she manages to pick it up, she is attacked and the orb is stolen while an after shock destroys the temple. The thief is a Chinese gangster who is acting on behalf of the real bad guy, a bio-weapon manufacturer: the orb is a map leading to the cradle of life, where Pandora's box is located. Lara then gets a former boyfriend of her out of prison who will help her to get to the gangster. She manages to learn that the orb is en route to Shanghai where it is going to be sold. Lara can't get the orb back, but a tracer she managed to put on the orb's crate leads her and her friend to Hong Kong. There she steals the orb from the bad guy's secret lab (located in the middle of a shopping center). There she dumps her friend, because he's too unreliable. Decoding the map on the orb leads her to the foot of Kilimanjaro, where she is soon followed by the bad guy and his army. The army is wiped out in a valley full of strange monsters, but Lara and the bad guy manage to enter the cradle of life (a maze of caves where gravity is not following the usual rules). The bad guy forces her to get the cradle out of a lake of black acid (supposedly Pandora's tears after she opened the box), but Lara's friend arrives just in time to save her. Alas! He wants the box for himself (ain't he stupid!), so Lara kills him. She puts the box back to the lake. End of story.

The first Tomb Raider movie was nicely bad, this one is just plain bad. It looks like a video game, with completely useless shooting scenes which looks just like a “shoot all the targets” sequence in a video game.

[ Posted on October 20th, 2006 at 00:34 | no comment | ]

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Doctor Who and the Daleks

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059126/

© IMDB.com

Doctor Who and the Daleks is the first Doctor Who movie. The Doctor has invented the TARDIS, a machine for travelling across time and space. The fiancee of the Doctor's niece accidentally triggers a journey to a random place and time. The travellers arrive to a planet where the vegetation has been fossilized. All but the Doctor want to go back where they come from, but the Doctor simulates a failure in the TARDIS to convice them to go and explore the city, pretending to go there and look for tools. They are made prisoners by the inhabitants of the city, the Daleks. A nuclear war has made the life on the planet almost impossible. The Daleks have then build individual, mobile protective suits that look like conical robots on invisible wheels (with an insufferable voice). They send the Doctor's grand-daughter to go and meet the Thals, the other people on the planet, who have an antidote to radiation poisoning. Their goal is to get a sample of the medicine, synthetize it themselves and get rid of their suits. The Thals, in need for food, are willing to help the Daleks and give the medicine. In return, the Daleks lure them into a trap (pretending to give them food), but the Doctor manages to warn them before they all get exterminated. Since a vital component of the TARDIS is still in the hands of the Daleks, the Doctor manages to convince them to attack the city. The fiance and a couple of Thals are entering from behind (following the pipes that bring water into the city) while the others show themselves in the front. They finally manage to enter the city and destroy the Daleks (but I don't remember how) before the latter can launch the bomb they intended to exterminate the Thals with.

[ Posted on October 16th, 2006 at 22:06 | no comment | ]

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330373/

© IMDB.com

Fourth Harry Potter movie, The Goblet of Fire starts with a scene showing Voldemort growing strong again. It then continues with the usual heroes going to the Quidditch worldcup (without actually showing any part of the game) followed by an attack of Death Eaters on the encampment where the spectators have spent the night. The heroes then go back to Hogwarts, where the usual new teacher of Defence Againts the Dark Arts (Alastor Moody) is presented, along with the visiting students from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Soon after, Dumbledore announces the Triwizard Tournament, which will oppose one champion from the previous schools plus Hogwarts and presents the Goblet of Fire where the candidats must put a paper with their names. The Goblet will later choose the three champions. Unexpectedly, the Goblet spits out four names, the last one being Harry Potter's. All his friends think he has been cheating and start to loath him. Soon after, Harry is shown by Hagrid that the first task of the tournament will be to fight dragons. Harry gets the nastiest of the four, but manages to get the golden egg it was protecting, supposedly giving him a clue about the next task. When he opens the egg, however, all that comes out is a shrieking noise. Meanwhile, their new teacher of Defence Againts the Dark Arts introduces the heroes to the three unforgivable curses (which allow torture, mind control and killing). During the Yule Bal, Ron manages to get Hermione even angrier at him. Harry later gets a tip from Cedric, his co-champion from Hogwarts, that the egg must be opened under water. The next task involves the lake and mermaids: he must dive in the lake during one hour to save his friend Ron, prisoner of the mermaids. Instead of getting immediately to the surface, he checks that all the other victims are taken up, and finally saves the sister of Fleur Delacour (the Beauxbatons' champion) who had to give up soon after the beginning of the task. He finishes last, but is still granted second place for “high morale fiber”. Meanwhile, the creative articles of the Daily Prophet about Harry increase Ron's hate towards his friend, and Harry discovers that Barty Crouch, an official from the Ministry of Magic who is supervising the tournament and has mysteriously been killed just after the second task, had sent his son to prison for being a Death Eater. Finally, it is time for the third task: the champions have to enter a labyrinth and get to the Triwizard Cup located at its center. Harry and Cedric get to the cup at the same time and find themselves transported to a cemetary where Cedric is killed by a sycophant of Voldemort, while Harry is made prisoner and a drop of his blood is used to give Voldemort back his strength. Voldemort forces Harry into a duel with him, but Harry manages to escape thanks to the help of the fantoms of his father, his mother and Cedric. When he is back in Hogwarts, he is taken away by the teacher of Defence Againts the Dark Arts, who actually is Barty Crouch Junior who had escaped form Azkaban and was drinking Polyjuice potion all the year long to look like the real Moody. Thankfully, Dumbledore and other teachers arrive just in time to save Harry. At the end of the movie, Dumbledore warns the students that Voldemort is back (although the Ministry refuses to acknoledge it), and Ron, Hermione and Harry are friends again.

The movie is mostly an action movie, jumping from one task to another, like the second movie did. One barely feels the time flowing through the school year, and the background details about Voldermort and his history are barely mentioned. In the Star Trek movie series, the odd-numbered episodes are bad while the even-numbered ones are good; in Harry Potter, it seems to be the opposite.

[ Posted on October 16th, 2006 at 22:02 | no comment | ]

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312004/

© IMDB.com

Fourth Wallace and Gromit movie, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is about Wallace and Gromit working as pest control specialist who protect a small town from all the rabbits that want to eat the vegetables grown by the inhabitants for the coming vegetable competition. But instead of killing all these cute, fluffy little bunnies, they store them in their cellar, and the lack of space becomes a problem after they “de-rabbit” the gardens of the local Lady, organizer of the competition. Wallace then decides to brainwash the rabbits (with his latest invention) in order to make them forget their love for vegetables. The experiment fails, and Wallace creates a monster. Soon a giant rabbit, identified by the local priest as a were-rabbit, wrecks havoc in the town, eating all the vegetables. Wallace and Gromit try to catch it, but it manages to elude them. During the chase, another local noble, a hunting maniac who promised to kill the were-rabbit, discovers that the were-rabbit is actually Wallace, something that Gromit learns a bit later, just after discovering that the rabbit that was turned into a monster actually resembles Wallace in his love for cheese. During the competition, the were-rabbit reappears, the hunter tries to kill it while Gromit tries to protect it. Gromit finally wins, but Wallace seems to be dead. He is revived thanks to the smell of a very strong cheese, which also cures him from being the were-rabbit. Finally, the Lady turns her gardens into a rabbit sanctuary, for all the rabbits that Wallace and Gromit had caught.

[ Posted on October 16th, 2006 at 21:57 | 1 comment | ]

Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060278/

© IMDB.com

Second Doctor Who movie, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. starts with a robbery in London. A policeman is knocked out before he could have done something and fails to stop the thieves. He then enters a police public call box that happens to be the TARDIS and finds himself in London 2150 A.D. The city is destroyed, the Daleks have invaded Earth and are enslaving people to dig a well in an old mine somewhere not too far from London. Some humans are turned into robomen that serve the Daleks. Doctor Who and the policeman are taken prisoner while his niece and grand-daughter are taken by the rebels. The latter try to raid the Dalek's mothership, disguised as robomen, but the attack fails. The Doctor is free, but the niece and the policeman are still in the ship as it takes off. The rebels then flee London, while the Doctor goes on foot to the mine. The grand-daughter and another rebel try to join the other rebels, but are arrested by the Dakeks on the way and taken to the mine. Meanwhile, the niece and the policeman manage to leave the mothership unconspicuously and join the Doctor who is hiding in a toolshed on the mine's grounds. The goal of the Daleks is to explode a bomb in Earth's center to eject its metallic core, responsible for its magnetic field which is harmful to the Daleks, hence the need for human labour working deep inside the mine close to the point of convergence of the magnetic south and north poles. The Doctor then devises a plan to defeat the Daleks: if the bomb can be deflected to the old mine shaft that happens to go straight the convergence point and be connected to the Dalek's shaft with a secondary tunnel, the magnetic energy that would erupt from the ground would destroy the Daleks. While the policeman takes care of modifying the shaft to direct the bomb the tunnel, the Doctor gets himself caught on purpose by the Daleks in order to use their device transmitting orders to the robomen and turning them agains their masters. The following confusion allows the humans to escape the mine while the bomb goes exploding just where the Doctor wanted it to. The Daleks finally get eliminated. The Doctor and his friends come back to their present with the TARDIS, just in time for the policeman to arrest the robbers.

[ Posted on October 16th, 2006 at 21:54 | no comment | ]

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383574/

© IMDB.com

I saw the movie some time ago and I completely forgot to post a summary, so the following is probably inaccurate.

Dead Man's Chest is the second episode of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. The story starts with a soon-to-be-married young couple who is arrested for having helped a pirate captain in the previous episode. They escape (or are released under condition?) and try to find the pirate captain. The latter is trying to put his hands on the Dead Man's chest, which contains the heart of the captain of the Flying Dutchman. They have a map, but need a key to open the chest. The key is around the neck of the captain of the Flying Dutchman, and they manage to steal it. They finally find the pirate captain and together with the captain and a third person also looking for the heart, they finally find it. Then come the crew of the Flying Dutchman, they all flee in different directions, and the heart is taken by we-don't-know-who.

[ Posted on October 14th, 2006 at 18:13 | no comment | ]

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

The Medallion

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0288045/

© IMDB.com

Eddie Yang is a Hong Kong police detective cooperating with Interpol to capture Snakehead, a dangerous criminal. They almost manage to catch him in an underground temple, where a young boy was performing a ceremony with a medallion. Snakehead and his henchmen manage to escape, kidnapping the boy and taking the medallion. Later, Eddie follows Snakehead to Ireland and learns that the boy is about to arrive on a boat. They find him on a container carrier, but get attacked by Snakehead's men. Eddie and the boy get trapped in a container that fells into the sea. Eddie manages to secure the boy in a bubble of air, but when the container is taken out of the water, Eddie is dead. The boy secretely presses the medallion into Eddie's hand before being taken to the hospital. There, Eddie resurrects and barely manages to repell an attack of Snakehead's men with the help of his partner, Watson. Eddie discovers that he is immortal and has superpowers, thanks to the medallion. Claire, another Interpol agent and former girlfriend of Eddie, takes the boy with her to her place, but Snakehead's men manage to take him away from her. They suspect that the next attack would be on Watson's family, and get there just in time to repell another attack. They learn that the boy is detaiend in Raven's Keep, go there, beat the bad guy and free the boy. The End.

Watson is supposed to be the funny sidekick, but he behaves like an idiot and the jokes are plain stupid. The script is bad, the storyline is thin like paper, and Jackie Chan is visibly getting old: the action scenes lack the dynamism of his earlier movies.

[ Posted on September 13th, 2006 at 23:54 | no comment | ]

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Farenheit 451

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060390/

© IMDB.com

François Truffaut's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic S.F. novel Farenheit 451.

The story takes place in an oppressive future, where written text is banned and people spend their free time watching TV, taking part in silly TV games and taking drugs. Firemen don't put out fires anymore (since everything is fireproof), but burn books instead. One day Montag, a fireman, meets Clarisse in the monorail, a girl who looks strangely like his wife, the dullness removed. She asks him if he ever reads the books before burning them. Montag then starts stealing books when he and his crew are in action and reading them. One day, the firemen are searching the house of an old lady that contains a huge amount of books. Montag's boss describes it as one of the hidden libraries used by rebels. The firemen are prepared to burn the heap of books in the house, but the lady refuses to leave and sets herself to fire. Later, as Montag wants to visit Clarisse at her house (of the same kind as the old lady's), he sees that the doors and windows have been barred. A neighbour informs him that the police has taken the inhabitants the previous night. Montag then searches his boss's office, hoping to find where Clarisse has been taken, but discovers that she was not taken. He later meets her, hiding near her house, and he helps her enter the cellar and retrieve and destroy a list of illegal libraries. She tells him about the book-people, who live far away in the forest, away from the oppression of the city, and tells him she's leaving to join them. Later, Montag and other firemen are sent to burn books to a place which turns out to be his own home, just in time to see his wife leaving him (she was the one giving him away). Montag then fights and kills his boss, and flees. He's followed for a time by the police, but he manages to escape them (the police will afterwards kill someone at random and claim it was Montag) and rejoins the book-people in the forest.

[ Posted on September 11th, 2006 at 22:12 | no comment | ]

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Marnie

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

Spoiler: do not read if you don't want to know!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058329/

© IMDB.com

Marnie makes her living by getting hired as a secretary in places dealing with money. She then steals the money and disapears, changing her identity and her city of residence. One day her scheme is discovered by the boss of the firm where she works, who gives her the choice to be sent to jail or to marry him. She goes for the latter, but the husband discovers that his wife has psychological troubles (fear of thunderstorms, of red color, of being touched by men, recuring nightmares). He wants to help her, and gets information on her past. He then drives her to her mother's place to face the truth about the trauma she had lived during her childhood: her mother was a prostitute, and one night of thunderstorm Marnie was being abused by a client. Her mother tries to protect her, hits the client with a poker, and gets injured in the process. In order to help her, Marnie kills the client who ends up in a pool of blood. Due to the shock, she kept no memory of the event, and her mother raised her to despise men.

[ Posted on August 23rd, 2006 at 01:03 | no comment | ]

A Perfect Murder

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

Spoiler: do not read if you don't want to know!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120787/

© IMDB.com

A remake of Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder. A rich (but soon to be ruined) husband wants to kill his wife in order to inherit her fortune. He pays his wife's lover (who has seduced her only to take her money) to murder her. The lover hires a former prison mate of his to kill the woman. The killer fails and gets killed in self-defense by the woman. The woman then discovers several clues that her husband is actually the one who tries to get rid of her, while the lover tries to blackmail the husband. The husband kills the lover while he tries to flee with the blackmail money, and the wife eventually kills her husband in self-defense when he discovers that she knows about his plot.

[ Posted on August 23rd, 2006 at 00:49 | no comment | ]

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Dr. Strangelove

Categories: [ TV/Cinema ]

Spoiler: do not read if you don't want to know!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/

© IMDB.com

I just watched Dr. Strangelove (Docteur Folamour in French), by Stanley Kubrick. The movie is a dark comedy about a crazy general launching a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. They manage to call off the attack, except for one bomber the radio of which got destroyed and could not be contacted. The bomber destroys its target and triggers the Doomsday Device that the Soviets just finished to build, provoking a nuclear holocaust all over the Earth.

[ Posted on August 22nd, 2006 at 14:22 | no comment | ]