Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guy Richie's RockNRolla

I have been quite a GR fan considering his earlier work (Snatch, Lock,stock..) but I never stop wondering if something ORIGINAL is going to emerge in one of his dark-humor-gangster movies. So far, nada. RockNRolla is just emulating his previous movies, just as Snatch did to some extent with Lock, stock.. However, it is fine; I mean it would have been surprising to see something different. I guess this is his personal recipe and why change something that is working. Just hearing about the new GR movie, drove me to wait and buy the DVD. The summary from IMDB "In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick. While the city's seasoned criminals vie for the cash, an unexpected player -- a drugged out rock 'n' roller presumed to be dead but very much alive -- has a multi-million dollar prize fall into his hands" and a great soundtrack (check it out!!) coined my decision. Unfortunately, I have been postponing to watch it for some months now (lack of time) until yesterday, when I finally managed to do so. It is an entertaining piece, typical GR shooting style, script & characters, with a lesser interesting action thread that his previous releases. Still, a well deserved 8 out of 10.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Saturday of Soccer

Yesterday was a full soccer day.The Romanian national team had a huge game (of surviving the qualifiers for the World Cup 2010) against Serbia at home, in Constanta. Unfortunately, we lost 2-3, partly due to some dubious refereeing and partly due to the inability of getting a good and motivated team on the field, which has been a long lasting problem of the current coach. Which should have been fired a long time ago since the team's choke against Netherlands in the Euro2008 tournament. But again, I just watched the first half, then give up, partly upset, partly since our soccer game was up at 4. This proved to be a far more rewarding experience; we won again quite easy (5-1) and I scored again with a nice outside shot, which is always nice, especially after playing defense throughout the game. Hopefully a new championship is near??

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour - Symbolic Dimming Worlwide

Lights are going out across the world this Saturday as millions of homes and businesses in major cities went dark for one hour in a symbolic gesture to highlight concerns over climate change.
In Australia, floodlights of the Sydney Opera House were extinguished as the city's iconic harbor kicked off events for Earth Hour, a day-long energy-saving marathon stretching through 88 countries and 24 time zones.
In China, illuminations at major buildings including the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium and the Water Cube were extinguished as 20 cities joined in, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Other landmarks around the world expected to join the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event were the Egyptian pyramids, Vatican, Niagara Falls, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis in Athens and the Las Vegas casino strip.
Photos: here

Battlestar Galactica Series Finale

Last Friday the series finale for Battlestar Galactica aired on Sci-Fi. After a week, I also caught up and watch it, finally. However, just like most viewers, my opinions are divided. While the whole plot was pointing towards some last stand hardcore battle between the volunteers from the Colonies (including the “good” cylons) and the “bad” cylons, things got surprisingly twisted several times, first by reaching a truce (Hera for resurrection secrets) which ended up in a bloody shoot-out, after The Chief goes on a rampage and kills one of the Final Five (Tory) as a payback for his wife’s death, hence failing to deliver the secret to the Cylons. However, after all this commotion and built-up of tension, things got really dull in the second half, with Galactica making the final jump close to Earth’s orbit. Yeap, again, Earth. This time OUR Earth; the last one that got wrecked by wars and humans, was not ours. (first, big disappointment). And then, basically, things become linear and the last half an hour is comprised of various characters saying their goodbyes. Obviously, the survivors of the fleet along with the friendly Cylons settle on Earth, spreading throughout the continents, the Centurians get their freedom and the Baseship and jump away happily ever after, while the colonists decide to renounce the technologies (second big patch-up) –so they send the fleet into the Sun- and just farm the Earth.
All and all, a mix of some brilliant closures for all the characters but also some big ugly patches that were obviously thrown there just because “we have to end these series”. And although, there were plenty of moments when I wish they’ve done that during the 3rd and 4th season (when the action was lingering so slowly and inconsistently) I was expecting something crisper and not-so-shallow at the end (reviving Earth, etc). Moreover, just to add generality the “This has happened before and it will happen again” theme, which Moore admits of “borrowing” from the Peter Pan movie, is crowned in the end, although both Six and Baltar hallucinations seem to agree on a better ending for the human race (this time) in an unnatural optimistic tone for a series that has been so dark and gloomy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nano Hypocrisy - a WWI Analysis

Advertised as the "People's Car," the Tata Nano launched this week in Mumbai amid controversy. Many have decried the arrival of the world's cheapest car as an "eco-disaster," citing the hundreds of millions of potential new drivers that Tata's affordable price tag will generate and the resulting increase in carbon emissions. Meanwhile, proponents argue that the Nano has the potential to replace many of the dangerous scooters that now dominate India's roadways, which also produce a large share of the nation's transportation emissions.

Worldwatch Senior Researcher Michael Renner believes that criticism of the Nano's accessibility is nothing short of hypocrisy. "Two-thirds of all passenger and commercial motor vehicles in the world belong to Western countries and Japan, which account for only 15 percent of the world's population. Rather than criticize Indian consumers for pursuing more secure modes of transportation, we should focus on developing public transportation systems that are safe, reliable, and sustainable in both industrial and developing countries alike."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Finally I seized the chance of watching this multi-acclaimed award winner film. I was looking forward to it even before the Oscars, as I've heard a lot of things about it and watched a couple of interviews with Patel on some late night shows (Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Daily Show).
The movie was everything that I hope for: a simple yet powerful story of a guy who makes it out of the slums of Bombay in a game of million rupees questions, using his life experience as source of answers on the show. The story moves slowly depicting his life and struggle towards the climax of finding and finally, reuniting with his true love. Although there was nothing really striking about the story or the characters, the colorful background and shocking truths existing in a third world part of the world keep you glued to the screen.

Jon Stewart destroys Jim Cramer

Jon Stewart throws some serious and deep punches at CNBC's (almost whining) Jim Cramer at his joke of a show "Mad Money". There are no excuses and ways to bounce the fault on what are some quite obvious (huge) mistakes this guy has done in the past.
The full episode is HERE.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Prodigy - Definitely Back in 2009

The Prodigy is back with a couple of new releases for the fans out here. I didn't know what to expect after their former releases which were controversial to say the least, even among Prodigy-fans.

With these two, I would claim that they are making a run for the past, going back to the sounds that have consecrated them, crazy beats and a mish-mash of styles (drum and bass, punk, old school rave).Included are collaborations with Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and James Rushent (Does It Offend You Yeah, a British electronic rock band). I have enjoyed the "Warrior's Dance" (especially catch the live version on YouTube) while "Thunder" or "Take me to the hospital" resemble the 1992 classic "Out of Space". Overall, an interesting mix of riff-raffs, hectic beats and keyboard strokes in the purest and most classical Prodigy style. Yet another generation to be hit by it while we are battered by the memories of early 1990s crazy raves.

MusicLovers.com calls it "perhaps the most honest and strongest album since ‘Fat of the Land’. It is without a doubt one of the best dance album in about 15 years and hopefully will bring life back into the rave scene".


1. Invaders Must Die
2. Omen
3. Thunder
4. Colours
5. Take Me To The Hospital
6. Warrior’s Dance
7. Run With The Wolves
8. Omen Reprise
9. World’s On Fire
10. Piranha
11. Stand Up

Lost Beats ads up four more tracks to the Prodigy's 2009 release and some more of the Prodigy's sound. I found 2 and 4 to be quite good.

LOST BEATS EP- Track list:
1. The Big Gun Down
2. Black Smoke
3. Wild West
4. Fighter Beat