Saturday, December 29, 2007

Movie Review: Atonement


Featuring: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave

Genre: drama, romance

Plot: little girl ruins two people’s lives

Acting: very good

Drama: people torn apart, love lost, war

Action: not much, it’s a slow paced movie

Funny: not much

Visuals: beautiful British country side scenery

Soundtrack: lovely… especially the violin

Official website:

Comments: It really is a nice movie, beautifully shot and with great music. The back and forward scene movement is a bit annoying. The little girl is dull, I don’t know if she was supposed to be this way but she is. Keira Knightley is too thin. But she does one of the most sensual sex scenes without nudity being involved. I couldn’t help feeling cheated towards the end of the movie, when the reality is revealed. Sure, happy ending wasn’t really expected given the time period, but why make the audience believe some and then turn it all upside down. Really disappointing and the shot at the very end doesn’t help at all.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, December 28, 2007

Movie Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks


Featuring: Jason Lee, Justin Long, David Cross

Genre: comedy, animation

Plot: looser gets to raise a family of chipmunks rock stars

Acting: the chipmunks are a hoot

Drama: celebrity, money and fame… ah…

Action: making toast in the kitchen… hell, anything to do with the kitchen

Funny: first half is hilarious

Visuals: the chipmunks are so cute… they must have borrowed the prints, I mean virtual models, from Enchanted

Soundtrack: laughable

Official website:

Comments: It started promising but then it just went… bleah… so common and predictable. I gotta say Jason Lee was funnier in Heartbreakers. Here he’s just… lame… The chipmunks are funny and there are some gags well done but the human ruins it all… the guys from Joe’s Apartment handled the situation much better.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Movie Review: National Treasure - Book of Secrets


Featuring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel

Genre: action, adventure

Plot: Ben Gates goes on another treasure hunt

Acting: too much action to leave time for acting

Drama: err… just look at all that gold

Action: imagine Indiana Jones merged with Thomas Crown Affair

Funny: the dialogue is

Visuals: nothing outstanding though we did get to see the oval office

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Official website:

Comments: Come to think of it I don’t remember much of the first one… I do remember I didn’t think much of it thought. Regarding the sequel… I guess it was alright for a Saturday action movie night. Had a bit of laugh in places, but I found it too rushed and schematically explained. Missed Sean Bean, Ed Harris tried to do his best with what he had to work with… so did Jon Voight and Helen Mirren who made an entertaining couple together. I was expecting Lara Croft to show up at the end and save the day declaring she was Ben’s half long lost sister…

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Movie Review: I Am Legend


Featuring: Will Smith

Genre: action, sci fi

Plot: human kind turned into monsters by virus, only one man fights to find a cure

Acting: for a one man show Will Smith does it pretty well

Drama: monsters are taking over the world

Action: not so much though there are some fights/chases with the monsters

Funny: oh yeah… like in the video store when he talks to the dummies

Visuals: New York deserted

Soundtrack: don’t remember even having one

Official website:

Comments: I don’t know what I was expecting, but there was a lot of hype about this movie before coming out. Well… Let’s not bad mouth it too much. Or let’s. There’s little dialogue in this movie and while this isn’t a problem really I would have liked it to have a little more explaining done… at least for those of us who haven’t read the book. There’s tons of discrepancies given the time and circumstances, not sure whether it was the screenplay writer or the director’s fault but I wonder how come the other 100+ people involved in the production didn’t notice any of them. The first three quarters of the movie it’s a rather decent one and not really bad but then things just got all wrong and with no reason. The ending was a big let down, even I could have come up with a better one. Come to think of it I don’t have to tire my brain at all cause he could have escape the same way the woman and the kid did. And did the dog really have to die? I know it was expected from the start but still…

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Movie Review: Fred Claus


Featuring: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates

Genre: comedy, fantasy

Plot: sorry, unable to see the plot because of the holes

Acting: hats off to Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz for putting up with such crappy movie

Drama: two hours of my life are forever gone

Action: flying with the sledge… looking fake as ever

Funny: pathetically

Visuals: thank God we had Rachel Weisz to rest our eye on

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Official website:

Comments: It’s total crap. Vince Vaughan should either retire or totally change direction from these disgustingly retarded characters he’d played lately. He should try a gay or disabled part, anything but not that again.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Movie Review: The Golden Compass


Featuring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Eva Green

Genre: fantasy, adventure

Plot: girls goes north guides by a compass

Acting: so so

Drama: Nicole Kidman is the evil one

Action: bear fight

Funny: the deamons

Visuals: fake looking bears and snow… but Nicole’s golden dress is gorgeous

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Official website:

Comments: I haven’t read the books. As far as the movie goes though the plot is an one liner there’s no development from there as if they’re expecting to fill in the rest with beautiful cinematics. Maybe if we’ve been brainwashed before. I really think I should have read the books to understand all the missing points they haven’t even bothered to mention about. Given the simplicity of the movie it seemed to be aimed at preschooler kids but then again it is too violent in places for this target audience. One in all it’s a big mess which leaves us with the feeling that it could have been something and we didn’t get it. It was as if we ordered steak and got a hamburger instead. Compared with the other fantasy movies released this year I’d place Enchanted on first, Stardust on second and The Golden Compass somewhere further down the list.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Movie Review: August Rush


Featuring: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams

Genre: drama

Plot: musically gifted orphan looks for his parents

Acting: the kid is brilliant

Drama: young lovers separated by a drastic father and child given for adoption while considered dead

Action: not much, the movie has a slow somehow out of this world pace

Funny: some, but not comically

Visuals: pretty… Keri Russell still looks good and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is not too bad on the eye

Soundtrack: mixture of all types of music… very enjoyable

Official website:

Comments: A modern Oliver Twist story with Robin Williams as the bad guy and Freddie Highmore the runaway who only care about music and finding his parents. And in all this there are also two young adults who had lost their way for a while. Slightly hard to believe for a story anything is possible in the imaginary world. It’s a movie for the heart with a plot that could have used more development and more details explained perhaps. Of course, their timing is perfect just in time for the happy-end.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, November 30, 2007

Movie Review: The Mist


Featuring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher

Genre: horror, thriller, sci fi

Plot: creatures from the mist take over the world

Acting: believable

Drama: survival is at stake

Action: fights with the beasts

Funny: not at all

Visuals: disgusting… horror freaks will have a ball

Soundtrack: -

Official website:

Comments: I’ve never read one of Stephen King’s book, I started one a few years ago and then I put it away and never finished it, it was just not my cup of tea. Oddly enough I’ve always liked the movies made after his books. It’s the only reason way I watched The Mist. Maybe I shouldn’t have. It left me with a shaken up feeling that I found it hard to get rid of. The way I remember it King’s movie used to be more about the psychology of fear, a feature that still remains, and less about the actual violence. Well, except for maybe the Children of the Corn series. You want to see monsters and people ripped in half? There you go. And here’s some more. Beside the fact that it portrays normal human reactions, as bad as these may be, and you know from the start that nothing good can happen on the way, after all it is a King movie, nothing can prepare for the ending. Who on earth wants to see cutie Thomas Jane with that bovine look of his suffer to no end even after the movie ends? It makes no sense and even in the context of the movie it doesn’t make any. And I would say more but I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else, so see it for yourself… if you dare.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Movie Review: Enchanted


Featuring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon

Genre: fantasy, adventure, comedy, romance, animation

Plot: cartoon princess lost in the real world

Acting: very good

Drama: the Princess falls in love with a real human

Action: Prince Edward is always chasing something, and did I mention the dragon?

Funny: very funny and unlike Stardust it really fits

Visuals: nice, very nice without being over the top or trying to be really fantastic

Soundtrack: great musical numbers written by Alan Menken who also wrote the scores for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame… would have liked to hear Patrick Dempsey sing too

Official website:

Comments: This is one of those modern tales that have the potential to become a cult and be remembered years to come. This having been said, and let me insist on the part that this is indeed a great movie, there are some things that annoy me. The lead actors are a bit too old for their parts, like a good 10 years too old. While they all look great, fairytales Princesses are supposed to be in their late teens or early twenties and not in their thirties like Amy Adams is. And let’s not even mention Patrick Dempsey who’s in his forties. It is obvious that Amy Adams has studied the Disney Princesses well, perhaps too well even, since she’s playing a real life one to the dot sometimes even exaggerating it a bit too much. Big wide open eye doesn’t bother us so much in cartoon characters but they’re not natural for normal people. The white dress she’s wearing in the beginning is lovely, must be magical too since she gets with it through the sewer, in the metro, gets rained on and does a full house cleaning in it managing to have it remain bright clean. And how many days do you think she’d last in the lawyer’s house before she ran out of curtains and carpets to make new dresses of? Patrick Dempsey plays his part perfectly impersonating this a tad cynic single father who’s swept away by the beautiful girl escaped from the asylum, sorry that should be Andalasia. He’s the one who looks best in period attire, reminding us vaguely of Leopold from Kate & Leopold played by Hugh Jackman. He could have used a better nicer fiancée though. Getting to James Marsden now, he plays the valiant handsome silly Prince were so used to in all Disney movies. No wonder the Princess has to save the day! I feel like Susan Sarandon could have been used more, and so the sidekick chipmunk. But other than that it’s a lovely story fit for children and adults too, perfectly fit for holidays. Enjoy!

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Movie Review: Lions For Lambs


Featuring: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Tom Cuise

Genre: political drama

Plot: new disastrous plan to take over Afganistan

Acting: tree big names who don’t hold back but could certainly give more

Drama: the state of affairs in America

Action: bad war scenes… the verbal duel is somehow enthralling but lacking as a whole

Funny: no, and it wasn’t supposed to be

Visuals: poor, cheap… miles away from being Hallmark material… and it’s just not right for Robert Redford at his age to look better than Tom Cruise.

Soundtrack: did it have one?

Comments: The movie is definitely telling the truth but even with two if not three very good actors fails to deliver. Why? First it should have started with a better script. The three interdependent storylines never intersect and the movie isn’t perceived as a tight unit. Second there are problems with each storyline. Cruise tries and he usually is, or used to be, good in debating stories. This time it just doesn’t work. I initially blamed it on the script and it’s true that his character is weaker than the other two but the movie is badly written as a whole given that it’s not smart and it’s just stating facts. And then it occurred to me. Cruise will never be believable portraying such a character, even if he as an actor might be able to do it, we are just too used to see him as the good guy, maybe not perfect but definitely a good guy, a hero, to the core.

With Meryl Streep there’s whole different problem. She does a very good job, but somehow I would have imagined her part being played with more edge or by someone with more edge. She’s supposed to be a tough reporter who’d covered wars in her career before too. And she gets a panic attack when she understands the truth? What about the hotflushes she displays? At those 57 years of age we’re told she is menopause had to be over, people. As for the crying at the sight of the graves… she wouldn’t have survived in the business for so long if she had been so impressionable.

The poor soldiers sent on a death mission are not at fault. Their background and education had brought them there and their characters were too much schematized to expect anything more. Want a war movie? Watch Rescue Dawn, there’s true war.

So now we get to the college scenes, the place where America’s future is being prepared. Well, by the look of it there’s not much hope for that future. What bother is the fact that we’re seeing nothing to convince us that Redford’s character really is a brilliant professor. He is being academic, detached somehow in spite of his honest efforts to wake up a so called bright promising student. That we don’t buy his belief it’s beside the point.

The most annoying and ultimately disappointed part is that through the entire duration of the movie it keeps you waiting for something, something worth waiting for, something defining, a catharsis, that we don’t get. The movie is left with an open ending that should somehow suggest America’s options to take one path or another and make a change, but once again it doesn’t have the impact they were hoping for. As a political and social statement it works, but as a cinematical experience it doesn’t, not at all.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movie Review: 30 Days of Night


Featuring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster

Genre: Horror

And I’m stopping here… for obvious reasons. Who would have thought Josh Hartnett was so desperate for a box office hit to star in a horror movie? Still wondering why he took the part. While the movie is bad, and it tops it all with a predictable lack of happy ending, that last part as cheesy as it was was the only decent enough part of the movie. Warning… not for those weak at heart… or who throw up easily.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vote for Alexei Yagudin

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Movie Review: Stardust


Featuring: Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Peter O'Toole, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Claire Danes

Genre: fantasy, adventure, comedy, romance

Plot: young man goes after a fallen star to prove his love to the girl he’s courting

Acting: good, Cox is getting better surpassing his performance in Casanova, Pfeiffer does a great evil witch though a bit mellow at times, O’Toole is always good, De Niro is hilarious, unfortunately that steals the attention from the show, and I didn’t get what the hype is about Danes

Drama: the boy falls for the star, only that both witches and Princes are after her too

Action: chasing, swords fighting, boat riding, etc

Funny: yes, unfortunately… too funny, so much that it steals for the greatness of a movie that could have been fantastic, another Lord of the Rings even

Visuals: good, fitting the context, just not outstanding

Soundtrack: mesmerizing, not disturbing at all… Take That’s Rule the World hit rocks!

Comments: It might sound like I didn’t like it from what I wrote above, but I did. My only regret is that I have the feeling that it could have been more, better… and it isn’t. At times it feels like a combination between a fairytale and a parody and that I cannot accept. Don’t mess with my fairytales! They’re not yours to disrespect. Other that that it was fine, entertaining, okay…

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Movie Review: Shoot ‘Em Up


Featuring: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci

Genre: action, crime, comedy

Plot: man protects newborn from assassins

Acting: err… it’s a shoot ‘em up movie, what did you expect, people? But Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti too did a good job

Drama: get stuck with a crying baby and a lactating prostitute and then see how you’d feel

Action: some of the best action/shooting scenes I have seen the whole year

Funny: yes, it’s pouring with one liners but it’s still funny

Visuals: imagine Clive Owen’s gritty face… well the movie is just as gritty

Soundtrack: dynamic, matching perfectly the action scenes

Comments: It’s an action movie, so don’t expect too much plot wise, it can be summarize in two lines… the rest it’s empty bullet shells. Owen managed to create an anti-hero character who eats carrots and can shoot from any position even with his fingers broken, Giamatti is a resourceful bad guy and Bellucci should consider a change of make up brand, the lines under her eyes are showing making her look old. Other than that it was fun and very relaxing for the brain.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, October 5, 2007

Movie Review: The Last Legion


Featuring: Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai

Genre: action, history

Plot: the destiny of the last Caesar

Acting: we already know that Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth can act… as for Aishwarya Rai she’s too cute for such thing to matter

Drama: going to battle against the enemy knowing there’s no way to win

Action: cool one on one fighting scenes

Funny: yes, at times, but not overdone

Visuals: the cinematic was pleasant to the eye all through the movie

Soundtrack: -

Comments: If I say I liked it better than Alexander will you believe it? It’s done as a historic piece, but with a strong legend feel to it, after all it’s set before King Arthur’s time, and this being said don’t waste your time looking for inaccuracies, just take it for what it is and enjoy it. Kingsley is a toned down Merlin and not his usual annoying charming self, Firth is not too old to fight yet and Rai can kick ass big time. Even the kid is cute, though I spent half of the movie wondering where I had seen him before. And the best part is that in the end the hero doesn’t die, yey!

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Movie Review: The Brave One


Featuring: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen

Genre: drama

Plot: woman goes vigilante after being the victim of an attack

Acting: Jodie Foster could have played the part with her eyes closed… after all aren’t stressed/depressed/abused characters sort of a trademark for her?

Drama: trying to cope with life after the attack

Action: some shooting

Funny: not at all

Visuals: the ugly side of life

Soundtrack: -

Comments: There’ll be no Oscar for Ms. Foster for this performance… the woman does multiple homicide and gets away with it? No way, not a good example! I wonder how the audience would feel in the end if the hero was a man?… depressing as it was, I won’t be watching it again.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, September 21, 2007

2007 Vacation in Rome

Just like I did last year for our trip to Greece I’m gonna write a short diary about our vacation in Rome. Don’t expect any high class literary attempts, just brief ideas, routes and points of interest, and of course my comments on the side.

Sunday, September 9

- it’s not a surprise that we weren’t ready to leave in the morning, it always happens like that with us
- dad still had some things to take care of and had said he’d be home at noon, but we all know he’s never on time whenever he needs to be somewhere and mom didn’t hurry with the packing so when he showed up around 1 PM all the stuff was still spread all around the living room
- two carry on suitcases, from which one was packed with food, and one backpack with two cameras and all sorts of chargers for them and the cell phones – for once we managed to travel light
- at the sight of the suitcases the cat became very upset and glared at us knowing she was going to be left alone and then she climbed into my lap and refused to leave
- with a little effort we managed to leave the house at 3 PM.
- shoved the luggage into the truck from the inside of the car because the truck can’t be opened since the accident last summer, yep, we still haven’t fixed it, shrug, dad hasn’t had time to take it to the garage
- although there is an airport in our town and also another one two hours away we have decided so late on our vacation dates that we only found plane tickets from Bucharest
- the first part of the ride was fine cause it’s the same route we use to go to my grandma but the rest was long and boring, there are four lines and the road goes through less villages but all you see around for hours it’s just empty fields, not interesting at all
- we arrived at my cousin a bit after 9 PM, spent about an hour crossing Bucharest and in spite of the late hour there weren’t many lights on in many parts of the town
- she and her family were expecting us with a big and yummy dinner, must remember to ask her the recipe for that wonderful cake, and then we watched some of the photos they took during their vacation in Croatia before going to bed at midnight

Monday, September 10

- our flight was leaving at 6 AM, groan, so we had to wake up at 3:30 AM, my stomach was still processing the dinner from the previous evening
- little brother, Alex, hadn’t slept at all but spent those hours playing on the PC with my cousin’s daughter and he was very much awake while we were more like sleepwalking
- my cousin took us to the airport where we, or at least I, froze to death as we waited to go to the plane
- inside the waiting room we met with Alex’s piano teacher who was leaving on honeymoon to Barcelona, my parents had been to her wedding the previous weekend
- the flight was okay, my ears didn’t hurt, yey!, and for once it wasn’t constantly clouded and I could see something other than whipped cream outside the window, saw my first sunrise there
- getting out of the plane was a bit more complicated but the driver sent by the agency was still waiting for us when we retrieved our luggage at the Ciampino airport
- it didn’t matter that he looked like a bad combination of Charlie Chaplin and a scarecrow and he spoke almost no English he took us to the right address and he was driving a Mercedes which I liked
- on the way to the apartment I had to call the owner, thanks to my cousin who had opened the roaming system for us that morning cause dad had forgotten about it and when he remembered it was too late in the evening to do it, and I told the owned we were on our way cause someone, not me, forgot to read the papers sent by the agency which stated we had to contact the owner before arriving and once we entered the country
- the apartment was situated in Via del Cardello, we could see the Colosseum up the street, inside an interior yard that had an old not working fountain on a wall
- it had one big room with a kitchen corner and a small bathroom on the groundfloor and a bedroom and another bathroom upstairs; minor problem, we couldn’t walk barefoot inside the living room because we got black feet from the stuff the floor was painted with
- the owner was there still arranging things, she’s a nice lady with a poor English but who likes to speak a lot, luckily for us Italian is similar to Romanian so we understood most of it
- after she gave us the keys and left we ate a nice breakfast made with the food we had brought with us, mind you we arrived at the apartment around 9 AM, and then being very tired we slept for a couple of hours, me included even if I never sleep during the day unless I am sick and I mean really sick
- at 2 PM we went out to inspect the surroundings
- we had barely passed around the corner and we already heard a couple of girls speaking Romanian
- we had only intended to be a slow walk but until evening we managed to visit about a quarter of the interest points from the old city
- the route was something like this: out on Via Cavour, to the back of Santa Maria Maggiore church, to Piazza della Repubblica, Santa Maria degl Angeli ei Martiri (really liked this one), San Carlo Quattro Fontane (the four fountains in the corners of the streets were kinda dirty), by Quirinal Palace, seen the parade, to Fontana di Trevi, and then to the Fontane dei Tritone, and to the Spanish Steps and to Piazza d’Espagna (both places were very crowded)
- finally made it home close to midnight, ate and fell dead tired into bed, all three of them actually cause we unfolded both couches from the living room
- forgot to mention the TV wasn’t working, which wasn’t such a bad thing, and little brother had a small problem with the faucets upstairs and as a result water started to drip from the living room’s ceiling; the event didn’t repeat after that, but we soon discovered there was hot water only for one person to shower
- high fever at night caused by the morning cold and relfux due to the change of the bed

Tuesday, September 11

- my parents woke up early and left the ‘kids’ to sleep while they went to the market to get some vegetables and juices; I like their tomatoes better than ours but the fruit juices all taste like chemicals
- then it was time for cooking, we couldn’t figure out how the big oven worked and had to settle for the small one and the stove; what was important was that the fridge worked, though I’ve never seen ice cubs so big, they wouldn’t fit inside the glass if you can imagine something like that
- it was the day for historic discoveries, we went to Victor Emanuel Mausoleum and the Roman Forums
- the boys went to take some more photos in the ruins while mom and I explored Piazza Venezzia and the surroundings while cursing them for taking them so long
- we went to Area Sacra where we ate ice cream on sticks from a box on the borders of the ruins
- we arrived at the Pantheon along with the sunset, just in time when they were turning on the lights; I wonder what they do with the rain and snow that fall inside through that huge hole in the ceiling
- the evening ended in Piazza Navona, I was disappointed to see the Fontane dei Quatro Fiumi was covered being in the process of being renovated
- back home with a stop to Alberto Sordi Galleries, eat and sleep

Wednesday, September 12

- mom cooked in the morning so once again it was late when in the day when we went back to Victor Emanuel Mausoleum and from there to Piazza Campidoglio to see the Capitoliu
- to Marcelus Theatre and from there to Campo di Fiori but when we arrived there it was late, the market was closed and only the flower stands were left
- just like last year when I had left my sweater at home and it was cold one evening when we were far from the hotel and I had to go buy a sweater now I had to enter a drugstore and get painkillers for my tummy when I had all the pills I needed at the apartment
- walked around to see Farnesse Palace, on to Via Giulia which I didn’t like, to Spada Palace, back to Villa Farnessina, on to Ponte Sant’ Angelo, seen Sant’ Angelo Castle and walked to the Vatican entrance then back to the bridge and on to the Coronari street to Piazza Navona
- seen Trevi Fountain by night, lovely, and the Spanish Steps
- back to Campo di Fiori where mom treated us with pizza because it was her birthday
- returned home on Via dei Fori Imperiali and sleeep

Thursday, September 13

- cooking in the morning, more fried turkey and baked potatoes
- this day was reserved to see the Vatican
- we started on the wrong street and ended up in Piazza del Popolo instead
- visited one of the twin churches, the other one was closed, then went on Via Rippeta, to Ara Pacis to get to the bridge
- made it to the Vatican and although we had been warned it could take hours to get in the line moved rather quickly
- the boys wanted to see the cupola so we separated and went straight into St. Peter Church, where we got to visit the inside museum too which they missed; lovely angel statue in there and the first pair of elephant tusks I’ve ever seen; the entire square and church are huge but so well proportioned that you don’t really realise just how big they are; wasn’t too impressed by the interior of the church, the gray marble made it look old and dirty, I would have expected given the fact that it’s such a symbol for the Catholic church and considering how much money they have to have the building all bright and shiny
- when we got out it was too late to visit the Vatican museum so we ate our sandwiches on the Vatican steps and then returned into the city
- after crossing the bridge we entered St. Giovanni dei Fiorentini Church and then walked on the streets some more, Piazza Navona, Piazza d’Espagna, etc. and back home on Via dei Fiori Imperiali
- on the way back we ran into several street vendors who sold handbags and mom got herself a small white purse, not leather and definitely not Prada like it says on the label
- yummy turkey for dinner

Friday, September 14

- mom and dad went to the market again for grocery shopping; they also got me a sweater, not ugly but I already have one the same color
- I called the agency to remind them about our trip to airport on Monday morning and they said everything was arranged
- made it to Campo di Fiori in time to visit the market, wasn’t too impressed, obviously targeting tourists and apparently more expensive than the one where my parents did their shopping
- for the second time to the Vatican to visit the museum this time
- once again split from the boys and did our own tour of the museum and seen more than they did since they wasted a lot of time with their photos, seen the statues gallery, the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s stamps, the maps gallery, Borgia apartment and Raphael’s painting
- the Sistine Chapel was horribly crowded with people and paintings on the walls too; I found the museum much more interesting than St. Peter Church, my favorite from all the things I’ve seen would be the gallery corridors with their painter ceilings
- returned on Viale Giulio Cesare which looked good on the map but not so good in reality, there were no stores and that was the last day for sales
- went through Piazza dei Popoli again
- I wanted to see Villa Medici and started to it but ended in Piazza d’Espagna instead
- went to see Piazza dei Republica, it looks fabulous with all the lights on, and visited Termini Station

Saturday, September 15

- time to see the things we’ve missed
- started on the wrong foot because St. Pietro in Vincoli was already closed when we got there
- went to Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano, seen the interior yard too, Arco di Dolabella, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, there was a wedding taking place and we had to wait for the people to leave the church, too bad the lights were already off when we entered as there were over 30 chandeliers inside, I’ve counted 17 on just one side
- went along Circus Maximus, which is only an empty field now covered with empty plastic bottles, wanted to go to Santa Maria in Cosmedin but it had just closed when we arrived there so we saw Bocca dela Verita through the fence and then ate our sandwiches in the piazza out front looking at Fontana dei Tritoni, Portunus Temple, Hercule Temple and Janus Arch
- the evening we spent on the other side of the river in Trastevere
- we entered Santa Maria in Trastevere Church in the middle of the Catholic mass, loved the singing, it’s not like that in our orthodox churches at all
- bought one kilo of ice cream, walked some more on the streets and then went home

Sunday, September 16

- we sent the boys out alone to finish with their damn photos and we waited for the apartment’s owner to give her back one set of keys
- mom and I went on our own route: to San Pietro in Vincoli to see Michelangelo’s Moise statue because we knew the boys must have been there that morning, then mom saw a sign for another church so we started that way but didn’t see it anywhere so we went back through Domus Aurea to get to the Colosseum, got lost for a bit inside Fiori Imperiali among the ruins until we made it back to Piazza Venezzia; from there we had another bit of trouble finding Via Nationale at Traianus Column but eventually arrived to Piazza Republica, visited Santa Maria dei Angeli e Martiri, to the Quattro Fontane and the Spanish Steps only that we ended on top in stead of the bottom, to Trevi Fountain, and finally to Piazza Rotonda where we met with the boys at the Pantheon
- heard so many people speaking Romanian and those weren’t tourist, they were working there and had the day off
- we ate our regular cheese and meat sandwiches, then got an ice cream and went to say goodbye to the bridges planning to go out by the Justice Palace and return by the Sant’ Angelo Castle only that outside the castle there was an outdoors concert which was supposed to be followed by black and white mute movies accompanied by piano improvisations
- it was taking too long for the whole thing to start so after listening to some Italian rap we went on the other side of the bridge to eat a pizza; the waitress forgot to bring us an extra dish that was part of the order and therefor got no tip
- on our way back once again across the bridge we stopped to look at some purses someone was selling and the guy who was from Senegal took a liking at me that practicing my French I managed to get mom a dark red purse at less than half a price
- one Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and one Charlie Chaplin movie later we went back to the apartment where we finished the ice cream, did a bit of cleaning and packing and we went to bed at 1 AM

Monday, September 17

- our flight was scheduled for 8 AM and with the taxi arriving at 5:30 AM mom’s cell phone alarm went off at 4:30
- we got up and got dressed moving like sleepwalkers
- some time later dad’s alarm went off too, he didn’t get up right away and after he was ready and settled on the couch to drink his coffee we heard him asking ‘Hey, why is my watch 4:40?’
- it turned out that Alex had indeed set mom’s phone to ring at 4:30 but he’d forgotten she hadn’t switched it to the Italian time which is one hour behind Romania’s, so in fact we had woken up at 3:30 again, groan
- dad went back to sleep while we kept giggling sleepily downstairs waiting for the time to pass
- at 6 AM there was no sign of the taxi
- we took our luggage, closed the door behind us and went to find a taxi
- we did find one five minutes later, it was even cheaper than the one provided by the agency, and we arrived at Ciampino airport on time
- another quiet though less satisfying flight, once again without food, and we were landing in Bucharest
- my cousin was waiting there for us and she’d even brought our car, my mom doesn’t dare to drive that one but my cousin had no problem with it
- she didn’t forget our cooler we left at her house which of course not knowing it was broken she had put in the trunk; so now one year later we are finally able to use the truck normally and not fear it won’t close after opening it. Stop laughing! Actually we did too.
- we left the capital at noon but we made a long stop at 4 PM to eat and rest cause our eyes were closing by themselves
- we arrived at home around 9 o’clock in the evening without getting any speeding ticket and all would have been just great if I hadn’t twisted my ankle just before entering our building
- the cat was happy to see us and I guess she was even happier when we turned the central heating on; we were coming from 26 C in the evening to 19 C inside the apartment and that just wasn’t right
- we ate, our friend who cat and house sit in our absence had also left us some cooked food, and then fell like a log straight to bed
- the cat slept all night either on my feet or my arm and in the morning she caught a pigeon and brought it under my bed to show us what a great hunter she is

Random comments about Rome:

- the old city is a great place for a vacation, there’s a bit of history wherever you look
- unfortunately many of the important monuments are covered being in the process of restoration
- wish we’ve had time to visit a bit of the modern Rome too, but we would have needed an extra day for that
- all streets are paved with small stones so don’t even think about wearing heels
- it seems that just about any crossways it’s called a piazza (square) and most of them manage to have a fountain inside
- almost all old buildings have an interior yard including their own fountain, and with a few exceptions their colors follow one of these three patterns: yellow walls with gray blinds, light orange walls with green blinds, dark orange walls with brown blinds
- no need to spend money on buying water, the water running from the fountains is good for drinking
- ice creams though are rather small and don’t have an outstanding taste
- forget about ordering pizza, it has nothing to do with what we, or at least here, usually call pizza
- Italian men have a good taste in clothes, you can often see them wearing suits in the street, Italian women though…
- black is in again, all big name fashion stores showed only mannequins dressed in black in the windows
- there seems to be a flip flop mania going on, I’ll never understand what people see in those ugly shoes
- we’ve heard more of other languages than Italian
- there had to be at least three tourists for one local, the place was crowded with people carrying maps
- those maps get lost very easily, we lost one and found two
- more than 80% of tourists are overweight and not just a little but going to the extreme
- American tourists dress the worst and there’s lots of them
- local Asian young women are usually dressed up and pretty, while Asian tourists can often be seen carrying an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun
- access to the bathroom at McDonald’s is still free, but the smell of repeatedly fried cancer causing oil makes you wanna throw up
- stray dogs and cats are rarely seen
- the souvenir offer ranges from postcards, small statue replica of the Colosseo, calendars with the Pope, rosaries, Morano glass in various shapes, amateur paintings representing famous places in Rome, crayon portraits of celebrities like Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Russell Crowe as Maximus, cheap and in the same time expensive jewelry and also fake Prada purses
- of course there are tons of other things worth being mentioned but I just don’t remember them at the moment.

And now I’m off to bed to sleep for a month.

See you all in Barcelona next year!

Who wants to read about our adventures in Greece last year you can find the story here:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Movie Review: Rescue Dawn


Featuring: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn

Genre: action, war

Plot: American pilot struggles to escape after being shot down and captured in Laos

Acting: brilliant, there’s no other word to describe it

Drama: captured by enemies, forced to eat maggots and snakes, determined to stay alive and go back to his job, fighting in the war

Action: plane fighting, crash, shooting guards, burning down village, journey through the jungle

Funny: the dialog was extremely funny in places as well as Dieter’s behavior

Visuals: stunning, in spite of the starving bodies of the prisoners

Soundtrack: too focused on the movie to pay attention to it

Comments: It’s a war movie. Still it’s a funny was movie. In the same time it’s touching, and moving and so realistic especially since the public knows by now that it was inspired from a true story, that you can’t possible be left senseless when it ends. True there are moments when it makes you wonder if this is exactly how things happened and whether Dieter wasn’t a bit crazy to begin with but Christian Bale does a fantastic job portraying him. So even if Bale seems to be a little masochistic with the length he goes when acting in his movies, as long as he doesn’t harm himself too much, cause we do want to see more of him in the future, we can only be happy with his performance.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Movie Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry


Featuring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi
Genre: comedy

Plot: straight men become a couple on paper to save one of their pensions

Acting: not entirely believable but exaggerated on purpose

Drama: being straight when pretending to be gay

Action: during the fire some

Funny: more than expected

Visuals: some disgusting ones I’m afraid

Soundtrack: was surprised to hear some of Queen’s tracks

Comments: Not being a fan of Adam Sandler I wasn’t expecting much of this movie. Still I found it funny at least in the first half. Sandler is his usual self, with the added touch of hot stud that doesn’t quite fit, James is fun though less than he was in Hitch, Biel is not exactly credible, why would a lawyer hang out with one of her clients?, Rhames was great and Buscemi didn’t disappoint much. In a way it was a low more developed version of Three to Tango, okay as long as you don’t have better things to do.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Movie Review: The Simpsons Movie


Featuring: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa

Genre: animation, comedy

Plot: disaster typical scenario, the town is covered with a glass dome because its polluting capacity

Acting: voices sounded right for what I remember from the series

Drama: town’s population threatened to die under the dome, Bart wants another father, Lisa finds a boyfriend, etc.

Action: bike race

Funny: not as much as the original

Visuals: ugly cartoons as usual but nothing out of the ordinary

Soundtrack: -

Comments: It doesn’t work as a full time movie. It used to be funny when it lasted half an hour but now it just drags. The plot is boring and it doesn’t bring anything new. I doubt the kids would like it, I’m sure adults don’t.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Movie Review: The Invasion


Featuring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jeffrey Wright, Veronica Cartwright

Genre: sci-fi, thriller

Plot: aliens infects the human kind in order to make a better word

Acting: alright, though top protagonists’ talent gets usually gets wasted in this type of movies

Drama: the infected people become emotionless

Action: just running

Funny: not at all

Visuals: some gore shots, nothing extreme, except maybe for Mrs. Kidman’s ample bosoms.

Soundtrack: -

Comments: A remake of a common theme in the sci-fi world. It will hardly make happy those who are into gore or intelligent movies because there’s not enough of either. The solution was too simple and too easy to find. And while a frightened paranoid running around Nicole Kidman and a dependable Daniel Craig are not hard on the eyes, one still feels a little disappointed in the end.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Movie Review: The Bourne Ultimatum


Featuring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez, Albert Finney, Joan Allen

Genre: action, adventure

Plot: Jason Bourne still doesn’t know who he is

Acting: just like in the other two there really wasn’t much of that, the accent being put on action mostly

Drama: we almost think he dies in the end

Action: fully packed but nothing extraordinary

Funny: umm, nope

Visuals: filmed with a mobile camera documentary style at times, great source for headaches

Soundtrack: very alert but also annoying if taken out of context

Comments: I was never too impressed with the Bourne movies, it always seemed too me there was too much action and Damon time alone on the screen while lacking in anything else that a good story should have. The first one was the only acceptable one, the rest was just filling dragging like a tail after a stray dirty unwanted dog. Stiles character wasn’t really needed in this sequel and Bourne should have probably been killed to spare us of another one. But then again, there’s always Rambo…

Rating: 3/5

Monday, July 30, 2007

Movie Review: Hairspray


Featuring: John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky

Genre: musical, comedy
Plot: overweight teenage dreams about becoming a TV star

Acting: not sure Travolta was a good choice to impersonate a feminine character, he takes it too much over the top

Drama: bad diet and racism

Action: I’m sure they used tons of energy with those dancing routines

Funny: it is in places but the humor feels kinda forced often enough

Visuals: I’ll never understand why overweight women insist on wearing sleeveless tops

Soundtrack: wonderful just like the stage musical

Comments: Travolta tries to steal the show but it doesn’t quite work out. Pfeiffer is too skinny. Walken is absolutely charming. Bynes is cute as a doll but I would have liked to see more acting from her and not just sitting like a doll, some more singing would have been nice too. I didn’t know Marsden could sing and he does it well. Too bad he spends most of the time smiling like an idiot. Latifah seemed to be made for that part. Snow was annoying as the part required. Can’t say much about Efron since I haven’t seen him before but he was cute. Blonsky is also new to me. She’s got a great voice that’s for sure.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Movie Review: Transformers


Featuring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, John Turturro

Genre: action, sci fi

Plot: aliens looking like huge robots hidden under vehicle appearance come to fight with each others on Earth

Acting: LaBeouf wasn’t so bad, Turturo was annoying as always

Drama: when your car is not a Porshe that sure is a drama

Action: the robots fight a lot

Funny: again the robots are… sort of

Visuals: good CGI

Soundtrack: errr… I’m sure there was one

Comments: It would have helped if I had watched the cartoons first to know which robot is which. The little meowing bad guy was funny. And I would have liked to have the yellow car. Not much else to say… you can imagine why. It’s a kid movie.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Movie Review: Evan Almighty


Featuring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman

Genre: comedy

Plot: God asks a congressman, of all people, to build a huge ark to save a couple of hundreds of people who wouldn’t have been there in the first place if it hadn’t been for that ark

Acting: Morgan Freeman was good as ever

Drama: a fashion dilemma?

Action: ark ride

Funny: the animals were and a few of Carell’s reactions

Visuals: the ark the flood and the ride

Soundtrack: oldies but not bad just cheesy

Comments: I’m one of the few people who found The 40 Years Virgin to be a waste of my time and I also don’t like Jim Carrey at all so I had no hopes to like this movie. The only reason I saw it was because of Morgan Freeman, which by the way gets way too little screen time. Like with most sequels this one goes bigger too, unfortunately the plot doesn’t exactly hold in many places. Can you actually imagine all the windows being open in Washington for the birds to fly in when all the offices there are actually running on air conditioning? And if I was the wife I would have had him committed long before that. Really, we need a more modern God who keeps up with the advances of our society or we’re all doomed.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, July 6, 2007

Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard


Featuring: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q

Genre: action, thriller

Plot: greedy terrorists attacks the whole country this time

Acting: not totally convincing, Willis keeps his pensive-amused grin and while it’s amusing to see it it doesn’t always fit the situation

Drama: US seemingly under attack, McClane’s daughter gets abducted… you choose

Action: quite a lot though somehow not as much as in the previous movies… is Willis getting a tad old?

Funny: the dialog is in places… the hacker is just annoying… and the daughter can kick ass, yeah!

Visuals: some of the stunts are impressive

Soundtrack: didn’t notice it

Comments: The longest a character lives the writers just seem to run out of ideas. So first there was a tower building, then an airport followed by a city and now it’s the whole country. Wanna bet the world is next if there ever is a fifth one? McClane hasn’t changed much except for the lack of hair and slightly bigger look, he’s still like a dog with a bone when confronted with a tough situation. We realize he hadn’t made up with his wife, of course since after 12 years Bonnie Bedelia couldn’t possibly look like she’s 20 again, he doesn’t get along well with his daughter, who he obviously taught her defense classes at some point, and he’s apparently surpassed by the today’s world. While pairing him with someone worked more or less in the third movie, pairing him with a weaker one, the hacker doesn’t have much of a back bone and he’s just a whiny kid who would like to be someone but is not ready for it yet, doesn’t exactly work and I pity the kid if the daughter really makes up her mind to ever hook up with him. There are a couple of déjà vu scenes like Willis on top of a plane or Maggie Q’s version of the Terminator bitch who just won’t die. The poor thing gets killed again like she did in X-Men 2, and since I mentioned that I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the hacker was someone like Stanley aka Hugh Jackman in Swordfish. Would that have kicked ass or what? One in all it’s not really a bad movie, but the first sequel was my favorite of all and compared to that there’s too much tech and less action in it. Along with Terminator Die Hard is probably one of the few series whose first sequel is better than the original. Haven’t decided yet if I’m hoping for a fifth one. Probably not.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Movie Review: Ratatouille


Featuring: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy, Peter Sohn, Peter O'Toole, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo

Genre: animation, comedy

Plot: a rat develops kitchen skills

Acting: from the animation point of view it’s very well done and believable; the voices aren’t bad either

Drama: it’s a rat’s life

Action: that part is fun too

Funny: plenty of it

Visuals: I liked the camera moves and the characters and settings are well done

Soundtrack: quite nice

Comments: It’s been a while since I truly liked an animated movie or any other movie for that matter. Kids will love it but it should amuse adults quite a lot too. I’m insisting on the fun part but also on the visuals and although I’d rather not eat in a restaurant ran by rats they were cute too.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, June 15, 2007

Movie Review: Ocean’s Thirteen


Featuring: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Elliott Gould, Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Ellen Barkin

Genre: comedy, action

Plot: with some twists and apparently elaborated in places but it doesn’t really compare to the other two

Acting: the triplet is doing well as expected, Pacino disappointed a little but he didn’t have much to work with and maybe another actor would have fitted the part better. Would have liked to see more of Garcia, Barkin’s part was a disgrace, a very weak and unnecessary female character.

Drama: it evolves around money

Action: less than in the other too

Funny: it was the same trademark humor they used us to

Visuals: an architectural mutation

Soundtrack: appropriate

Comments: While it was fun for sure, it was not nearly as entertaining as the previous two movies. It lacks a strong female part and love interest. I liked it better when the boys kept their operation on a smaller scale and there was much more in stake.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Movie Review: California Dreamin’ (Nesfarsit)


Featuring: Armand Assante, Jamie Elman, Razvan Vasilescu, Maria Dinulescu, Alexandru Margineanu

Genre: drama

Plot: simple but oh so actual

Acting: Armand Assante was good as usual, Razvan Vasilescu was briliant, Maria Dinulescu wasn’t bad, it still shows that she’s used to star in soap operas though

Drama: the whole Romanian system

Action: street fight scene

Funny: tragically so

Visuals: it bothered me the fact that it was shot with a mobile camera, it’s tiring for the eyes I think and it doesn’t improve the quality of the movie

Soundtrack: nothing special

Award: Un certain regard at Cannes in 2007

Comments: For an unfinished movie it's not bad at all. It’s definitely a Romanian movie, it seems this is all they’re able to produce these days. They get awards and prizes for them because people outside are shocked to see such a reality but the thing is we live in it and this is the saddest part of all.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, May 31, 2007

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


Featuring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård

Genre: adventure

Plot: quest to get Jack Sparrow and Will’s dad back

Acting: As always Johnny Deep stole the show. The movie is not so much character based but more action based so they worked with what they had

Drama: plenty but all is well when it ends well… sort of

Action: lots of fighting between pirates

Funny: it’s definitely funny, Jack is priceless, but it doesn’t have as many gags as the second movie, which is a good thing

Visuals: nothing to complain about, great pleasure for the eye

Soundtrack: it’s Hans Zimmer so of course it’s spot on

Comments: I would say this movie is better than the second one though that was entertaining too. The first one is still my favorite and I consider it to be better as a whole. It’s normal since it’s more character based, but once they have solid characters defined they can only focus on the action and then you can’t help feeling that something is lacking. It’s either that or change the characters so much that they’re not the ones you fell in love with in the first place. That’s the sad part about sequels and why they’re never as good as the originals. But even if the relationship between Will and Elisabeth is not working now that they have they’re own agenda, we do get our unexpected bitter sweet happy ending which leaves us with a tinny little hope for more. As a side observation it’s funny how Elizabeth has a different hair color in each movie and the way Will proposes to her. Happy many returns!

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Movie Review: Shrek The Third


Featuring: green ogre, cat, donkey and spoiled brat aka Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake

Genre: animation, comedy

Plot: Shrek goes look for another heir to the throne to replace him while fighting fatherhood thoughts.

Acting: Murphy and Banderas kinda steal the show

Drama: the way they included Princesses from other stories… I hate it when they mix up stories

Action: Prince Charming is taking over the world

Funny: Shrek and Fiona taking care of the babies

Visuals: humans still look ugly, everything else looks much better

Soundtrack: the first one was better

Comments: For some reason I enjoyed it less than the other two. I hope there won’t be fourth one.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard

I've been looking for this for a while now since Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard has become one of my favorite musicals.

Hugh Jackman singing Sunset Boulevard:

Documentary about the production of the musical in Australia:

He looked so young!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Movie Review: Grindhouse


Featuring: Freddy Rodríguez, Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Naveen Andrews, Jeff Fahey,
Bruce Willis, Quentin Tarantino

Genre: horror, road movie

Plot: two cheap movies played head to head with commercials in between

Acting: err… did I say it’s a horror movie? Who needs acting? I felt kinda bad for Kurt Russell, what did he do so wrong his life to deserve to be put in such movie?

Drama: too much of a cliché not to find at least a dozen

Action: shootings, explosions, zombie killings, car crashes, etc.

Funny: hmm, not exactly… such a deadbrainer I almost felt ashamed when I chuckled a couple of times

Visuals: not much… but Rose McGowan looked hot as a brunette with or without the missing leg

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Comments: A worse version of From Dusk Till Dawn followed by an even worse version of Pulp Fiction. Of course those who are only after plenty of gore will be happy with it. I’ll never understand why people like Quentin Tarantino.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'd Wait For Life - Screenshots

Screenshots from Take That's video I'd Wait For Life sang by Gary Barlow can be found at:

Gary Barlow ~ 10 Years Later

Beautifully shot video!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Movie Review: Next


Featuring: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel

Genre: action, sci fi slightly

Plot: slowed down by alternate future versions, not too complicated

Acting: it’s Cage and Biel so we shouldn’t ask much in that department, but Moore was okay

Drama: he waits for his soul mate, he gets her, then he has to keep her aliveAction: a cool chain reaction disaster scene

Funny: little girl tells Biel the Cage’s character must like her because he looks at her the way her brother looks at his girlfriend. Camera pans at Cage. He looks like he’s having a toothache.

Visuals: a bit of a nice scenery at the tribe location

Soundtrack: "A Little Less Entertainment" is used to show the story starts in Las Vegas, that was tacky

Comments: A little while ago I was mentioning that we get to see Nicholas Cage with hair in Ghost Rider, well now we see him with even more hair and it doesn’t do him any favor. The fact that his character hooked up with the girl in less than 24 hours is not quite believable given all the possible future rejections upon their first meeting. Sex with her must be a big incentive though since he managed to see ahead in a future for several hours while sleeping.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Movie Review: Spiderman 3


Featuring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace

Genre: action, sci fi

Plot: what usually happen in a second sequel, the hero goes bad… hope it won’t happen the same thing to Batman in a few years

Acting: Kisten Dunst is totally lost in this picture, I don’t know why she kept playing this character who isn’t good enough even for a supporting part… and she didn’t just play it once or twice… but three times!!! The money must be great.

Drama: good turns bad and good again, bad turns temporarily good, etc. old plot gets an uncalled for twist, and they left the wedding for the fourth part

Action: lots of it and not so bad

Funny: Peter Parker dancing as he walks down the street and in the club… not much else

Visuals: the CGIs are great, I particularly liked Sandman

Soundtrack: appropriate I guess

Comments: Peter acts like a totally clueless idiot most of the time, Mary Jane is a hot redhead but if they had switched her with a doll with a red wig no one would have noticed, Venom is just annoying, Sandman is kinda cool and almost too human, Goblin Jr. is a pale shadow of his father, he can’t do even evil right, there’s so much going on but nothing important enough to justify the importance of the film except for maybe the superhero’s puberty identity crisis.

Rating: 3/5 with indulgence

Friday, May 4, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

2007 Japan Open

Kinoshita-Group Cup Figure Skating Japn Open 2007


1 Team Japan 497.47
Nobunari ODA JPN 150.59
Takahiko KOZUKA JPN 132.76
Miki ANDO JPN 112.65
Mao ASADA JPN 101.47
2 Team Europe 471.11
Brian JOUBERT FRA 132.76
Alexei YAGUDIN RUS 128.43
Sarah MEIER SUI 111.29
Kiira KORPI FIN 98.63
3 Team North America 458.81
Jeffrey BUTTLE CAN 140.73
Todd ELDREDGE USA 117.52
Joannie ROCHETTE CAN 107.78
Kimmie MEISSNER USA 92.78

Men's results:
PL. Competitor Nationality TSS TES PCS SS TR PE CH IN Deduction StN.
1 Nobunari ODA JPN 150.59 77.59 73.00 7.50 6.95 7.45 7.25 7.35 0.00 #5
2 Jeffrey BUTTLE CAN 140.73 63.43 77.30 7.75 7.55 7.70 7.85 7.80 0.00 #4
3 Brian JOUBERT FRA 132.76 59.06 74.70 7.75 7.10 7.40 7.55 7.55 -1.00 #6
4 Takahiko KOZUKA JPN 132.76 69.56 64.20 6.85 6.15 6.45 6.50 6.15 -1.00 #2
5 Alexei YAGUDIN RUS 128.43 52.23 76.20 7.70 6.90 7.55 7.90 8.05 0.00 #1
6 Todd ELDREDGE USA 117.52 48.12 69.40 7.25 6.35 7.15 7.00 6.95 0.00 #3

Alexei performed Gladiator and did the following jumps:
3Lz3T 3Lz 3F 3F2T 3S2T 2A



Sunday, April 29, 2007

2007 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships

2007 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships

26 - 29.04.2007 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Women's Individual All-Around Final
1 FERRARI Vanessa 61.075 ITA 191 14.925 15.700 15.375 15.075
2 IZBASA Sandra Raluca 59.900 ROU 226 14.475 14.325 15.625 15.475
3 KOZICH Alina 59.300 UKR 256 14.675 14.250 15.675 14.700
4 NISTOR Steliana 58.175 ROU 227 14.375 15.425 14.625 13.750
5 KRAMARENKO Ekaterina 57.825 RUS 231 14.175 15.025 14.850 13.775

Men's Individual All-Around Final
1 DEVIATOVSKI Maxim 90.250 RUS 541 14.525 14.925 15.100 16.250 15.575 13.875
2 HAMBUECHEN Fabian 89.675 GER 418 15.225 13.575 14.450 15.825 15.200 15.400
3 RYAZANOV Yury 89.000 RUS 542 14.475 14.275 15.075 15.650 15.100 14.425
4 MARTINEZ Rafael 88.425 ESP 371 13.975 13.675 14.900 16.075 15.200 14.600
5 KOCZI Flavius 87.825 ROU 532 14.800 14.900 13.750 16.550 13.775 14.050
6 ZONDERLAND Epke 87.675 NED 496 14.175 14.000 13.750 15.650 15.375 14.725
6 CAMPOS Manuel 87.675 POR 521 14.700 14.275 14.150 15.300 15.050 14.200
6 SELARIU Dorin Razvan 87.675 ROU 531 15.100 14.525 14.650 16.150 14.625 12.625

Results Women's Floor Exercise
1 191 FERRARI Vanessa ITA 15.400
2 156 TWEDDLE Elizabeth GBR 15.250
3 256 KOZICH Alina UKR 15.050
4 152 VERICEL Cassy FRA 14.625
5 227 NISTOR Steliana ROU 14.600
6 161 CHUSOVITINA Oxana GER 14.450
7 141 MORENO Patricia ESP 14.375
226 IZBASA Sandra Raluca ROU - WD

Results Parallel Bars
1 557 PETKOVSEK Mitja SLO 15.875
2 543 KRYUKOV Nikolai RUS 15.450
3 496 ZONDERLAND Epke NED 15.400
4 391 CUCHERAT Yann FRA 15.325
5 546 KHOROKHORDIN Sergei RUS 15.175
6 396 KARBANENKO Dimitri FRA 15.075
7 328 KASPIAROVICH Dimitri BLR 14.900
8 371 MARTINEZ Rafael ESP 14.750

Results Rings
1 592 VOROBYOV Olexander UKR 16.325
2 336 JOVTCHEV Jordan BUL 16.200
2 469 COPPOLINO Andrea ITA 16.200
4 545 PLUZHNIKOV K. RUS 15.800
5 470 MORANDI Matteo ITA 15.375
6 416 ANDERGASSEN Thomas GER 15.350
7 327 SAVITSKI Dimitri BLR 15.025
8 328 KASPIAROVICH Dimitri BLR 14.850

Results Uneven Bars
1 258 ZGOBA Dariya UKR 15.775
2 227 NISTOR Steliana ROU 15.725
3 231 KRAMARENKO Ekaterina RUS 15.425
4 151 LINDOR Katheleen FRA 14.700
5 132 SIKULOVA Jana CZE 14.675
6 191 FERRARI Vanessa ITA 14.375
7 164 BRINKER Anja GER 13.600
8 206 WONG Lichelle NED 12.925

Results Pommel Horse
1 441 BERKI Krisztian HUN 15.800
2 402 KEATINGS Daniel GBR 15.450
3 532 KOCZI Flavius ROU 15.325
4 403 SMITH Louis GBR 15.300
5 543 KRYUKOV Nikolai RUS 14.975
5 321 TRUYENS Donna-Donny BEL 14.975
7 346 UDE Filip CRO 14.325
8 347 SELIGMAN Robert CRO 12.425

Results Women's Vault1 193 GIOVANNINI Carlotta ITA 14.812 15.000 14.625
2 161 CHUSOVITINA Oxana GER 14.725 14.500 14.950
3 234 GRUDKO Anna RUS 14.625 15.050 14.200
4 233 LOZHECKO Yulia RUS 14.450 14.250 14.650
5 133 KOMRSKOVA Jana CZE 14.350 14.300 14.400
6 157 KING Marissa GBR 14.175 14.600 13.750
7 174 KORCSMAROS Enikoe HUN 14.012 14.475 13.550
8 226 IZBASA Sandra Raluca ROU 13.975 14.600 13.350

Results Men's Floor Exercise
1 371 MARTINEZ Rafael ESP 15.550
2 395 BOUHAIL Thomas FRA 15.350
3 420 FAHRIG Matthias GER 15.275
3 429 KOSMIDIS Eleftherios GRE 15.275
5 544 GOLOTSUTSKOV Anton RUS 15.175
6 471 POZZO Enrico ITA 15.125
7 533 DRAGULESCU Marian ROU 14.300
8 532 KOCZI Flavius ROU 14.250

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Australia Movie

Latest Baz Luhrmann's movie an Australia saga featuring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman will start being filmed in Australia soon. She's supposed to be an English aristocrat who inherits a cattle ranch in Australia and the cattle driver helps her to keep it before the WW II.
More details at:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

3:10 to Yuma - First Official Photos

First two official photos from 3:10 to Yuma, a western with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are now available at:

Imagine Batman and Maximus with beards and longer hair, one thinner and the other slightly rounder. This should be one interesting movie to watch!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Movie Review: Blades of Glory


Featuring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, William Fichtner, Craig T. Nelson

Genre: dumb comedy

I’m gonna skip the rest because there is nothing much to tell and I will move straight to comments which I’m gonna keep short too. Even since before watching the movie I had decided not to comment on the skating part because as a skating fan I was probably going to be too harsh if I did and I knew you couldn’t really present real skating in a movie, especially a Hollywood made one. Apparently more recently they can’t produce a story and acting either. I’m sorry Sasha Cohen had to make her screen debut in such lame movie, though was seeing her act like a hysterical fan was kinda fun. As for the rest I don’t know who would laugh at such a movie, maybe only if you had a lobotomy first or you’re over ninety and senile.

Rating: 1/5

Friday, April 13, 2007

Movie Review: Wild Hogs


Featuring: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei

Genre: comedy

Plot: four middle age friends go on a bike ride towards the Mexican border

Acting: was a bit hard to notice because of the multitude of cheap gags

Drama: middle age crisis + a biker gang who’s set to no good… + one’s a dentist, one’s ruined, one is house wife, and one has no sex life

Action: bike rides, gang fights

Funny: it tries a bit too much… puerile jokes

Visuals: nothing spectacular

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Comments: If it hadn’t been for Ray Liotta staring in it I wouldn’t have bothered. He delivered, portraying the usual bad intense villain messed up in the head he’s known for. Reminded me a bit of Hando aka Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper only with hair. The ending was a bit disappointing, he gave up to easily.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Russel Crowe montage

An elegant montage of Russell Crowe's photos morphing one into another made with the occasion of his recent birthday can be found at:

Monday, April 9, 2007

Alexei Yagudin Interview

Golden Skate has a long and very detailed interview with Alexei Yagudin. In her well known style Kathleen Bangs makes him talk about his life during the past year or so, the move back to St. Petersburg, his skating, the shows, involvement in local business, TV appearances, vacation and future plans. One of the best news is that his gorgeous triple Axel is back, just in time for the Japan Open which will take place at the end of April.

For more details read the interview here:

Friday, April 6, 2007

Movie Review: Ghost Rider


Genre: sci fi

Plot: inspired from the Ghost Rider comics – imagine Faust in the future… not much of a plot though

Acting: Sam Elliot was good… but when all you like in a movie is the graveyard caretaker who has like 10 lines that says something about the movie as a whole

Drama: well, yeah, it’s unavoidable once the devil sticks its tail in it

Action: the second main character is a bike so of course there’s gotta be some action… actually watching the bike going up and down the sky scrapper was kinda cool

Funny: Nicholas Cage with hair… kidding… but Ghost Rider when it’s all on fire is hilarious, even with the sound off

Visuals: good CGI, the rest wasn’t so great. My favorite image is this one

Soundtrack: don’t remember

Comments: It’s one of the lamest comics adaptation for the big screen I’ve ever seen. Nicholas Cage gives his regular dumb clueless look, Eva Mendes is hot but not much else, her or a ditzy blonde wouldn’t have made much difference, Peter Fonda must be really short on cash to have accepted a part that he doesn’t even pull off well, unlike him the other bad guy was at least creepy. Liked Sam Elliot as I’ve said it already.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Movie review: 300


Genre: historic

Plot: the battle from Thermopile when Persians attacked Sparta - as far as I remember history wasn't twisted much

Acting: not bad, hated the King's voice but the Queen was cool

Drama: and some... conflicts all over the place

Action: lots of battle scenes, plenty of gore if you're into it but the visual were distracting enough not to make anyone puck

Funny: a few sarcastic lines

Visuals: very good, outstanding even, beautifully filmed, fit for a historic movie meant to give it grace and greatness... some scenes reminded me of Matrix in a way

Soundtrack: appropriate for most of the scenes though the final lament sounded like total rip off of some other song

Comments: If you like 300 (ok, maybe not 300, just 30 and the rest could have been computer generated as well) packages of meat in loin clothes with Superman red capes, metal buckets on their heads and oversized pot lids then you'll think you died and went to heaven. I heard people comparing it to Gladiator, hmm, my pick would be Maximus, the Spartan Queen, the visuals from 300 without the gore, actually without everything on the screen, only the idea of how they were made, and the Gladiator soundtrack.

Rating: 4/5 but I won't be seeing it again

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Movie review: TMNT


Genre: animation – need I say more? Obviously aimed at under 5 years olds as far as complexity is concerned

Plot: crossover between The Mummy, Stargate and The Fifth Element

Acting: the voices were rather well done

Drama: fallout between brothers – Moses should sue the screenplay writers for copyright infringement

Action: fights, explosions, etc. Batman should sue them too.

Funny: occasionally… not enough

Visuals: very good, better than expected for an animated movie, too bad humans still look like toys… the turtles look like Chipendales members and what happened to April’s yellow suit?

Soundtrack: not bad, even fitting at times

Comments: As someone who was watching the ninja turtles religiously every evening I was expecting more from this movie. I used to like April and imagine being in her place even if she had short hair, but I wouldn’t trade places with this one even if you paid me. I also missed Shredder, he used to be the first bad guy I liked, of course that changed after I got to see it in colors and realized he didn’t have a yellow helmet and he was too blueish for my taste. And the turtles used to be more fun.

Rating: 3/5 with indulgence

Sunday, April 1, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 8

Men's 50m Backstroke
1. ZANDBERG Gerhard RSA 24.98
2. RUPPRATH Thomas GER 25.20
3. TANCOCK Liam GBR 25.23

Women's 50m Breaststroke
1. HARDY Jessica USA 30.63
2. JONES Leisel AUS 30.70
3. KIRK Tara USA 31.05

Men's 400m Individual Medley
1. PHELPS Michael USA 4:06.22 WR
2. LOCHTE Ryan USA 4:09.74
3. MARIN Luca ITA 4:09.88

Women's 50m Freestyle
1. LENTON Lisbeth AUS 24.53
2. ALSHAMMAR Therese SWE 24.62
3. VELDHUIS Marleen NED 24.70

Men's 1500m Freestyle
1. SAWRYMOWICZ Mateusz POL 14:45.94
2. PRILUKOV Yury RUS 14:47.29
3. DAVIES David GBR 14:51.21

Women's 400m Individual Medley
1. HOFF Katie USA 4:32.89 WR
2. MARTYNOVA Yana RUS 4:40.14
3. RICE Stephanie AUS 4:41.19

Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay
1. Australia AUS 3:34.93
2. Japan JPN 3:35.16
3. Russia RUS 3:35.51

And this concludes World Swimming Championships for 2007.

Only one silver medal for Pieter van den Hoogenbad, a 6th place in 100m backstroke. Oh well...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 7

Women's 50m Butterfly
1. ALSHAMMAR Therese SWE 25.91
2. MIATKE Danni AUS 26.05
3. DEKKER Inge NED 26.11

Men's 50m Freestyle
1. WILDMAN-TOBRINER Benjamin USA 21.88
2. JONES Cullen USA 21.94
3. NYSTRAND Stefan SWE 21.97

Women's 200m Backstroke
1. HOELZER Margaret USA 2:07.16 CR
2. COVENTRY Kirsty ZIM 2:07.54
3. NAKAMURA Reiko JPN 2:08.54

Men's 100m Butterfly
1. PHELPS Michael USA 50.77
2. CROCKER Ian USA 50.82
3. SUBIRATS ALTES Albert VEN 51.82

Women's 800m Freestyle
1. ZIEGLER Kate USA 8:18.52 CR
2. MANAUDOU Laure FRA 8:18.80
3. PEIRSOL Hayley USA 8:26.41

Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay
1. Australia AUS 3:55.74 WR
2. United States USA 3:58.31
3. China CHN 4:01.97

Friday, March 30, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 6

Women's 100m Freestyle
1. LENTON Lisbeth AUS 53.40 =CR
2. VELDHUIS Marleen NED 53.70
3. STEFFEN Britta GER 53.74

Men's 200m Backstroke
1. LOCHTE Ryan USA 1:54.32 WR
2. PEIRSOL Aaron USA 1:54.80
3. ROGAN Markus AUT 1:56.02

Women's 200m Breaststroke
1. JONES Leisel AUS 2:21.84
2. BALFOUR Kirsty GBR 2:25.94
2. JENDRICK Megan USA 2:25.94

Men's 200m Breaststroke
1. KITAJIMA Kosuke JPN 2:09.80
2. RICKARD Brenton AUS 2:10.99
3. FACCI Loris ITA 2:11.03

Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle
1. United States USA 7:03.24 WR
2. Australia AUS 7:10.05
3. Canada CAN 7:10.70

Thursday, March 29, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 5

Men's 200m Individual Medley
1. PHELPS Michael USA 1:54.98 WR
2. LOCHTE Ryan USA 1:56.19
3. CSEH Laszlo HUN 1:56.92

Men's 100m Freestyle
1. MAGNINI Filippo ITA 48.43
1. HAYDEN Brent CAN 48.43
3. SULLIVAN Eamon AUS 48.47

Women's 200m Butterfly
1. SCHIPPER Jessicah AUS 2:06.39
2. VANDENBERG Kimberly USA 2:06.71
3. JEDRZEJCZAK Otylia POL 2:06.90

Women's 50m Backstroke
1. VAZIRI Leila USA 0.66 28.16 =WR
2. HERASIMENIA Aliaksandra BLR 28.46
3. ZIMMER Tayliah AUS 28.50

Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle
1. United States USA 7:50.09 WR
2. Germany GER 7:53.82
3. France FRA 7:55.96

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 4

Men's 200m Butterfly
1. PHELPS Michael USA 1:52.09 WR
2. WU Peng CHN 1:55.13
3. SKVORTSOV Nikolay RUS 1:55.22

Women's 200m Freestyle
1. MANAUDOU Laure FRA 1:55.52 WR
2. LURZ Annika GER 1:55.68
3. PELLEGRINI Federica ITA 1:56.97

Men's 50m Breaststroke
1. LISOGOR Oleg UKR 27.66
2. HANSEN Brendan USA 27.69
3. VAN DER BURGH Cameron RSA 27.88

Men's 800m Freestyle
1. MELLOULI Oussama TUN 7:46.95
2. STANCZYK Przemyslaw POL 7:47.91
3. STEVENS Craig AUS 7:48.67

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 3

Men's 200m Freestyle
1. PHELPS Michael USA 1:43.86 WR
2. VAN DEN HOOGENBAND Pieter NED 1:46.28
3. PARK Tae Hwan KOR 1:46.73

Women's 100m Backstroke
1. COUGHLIN Natalie USA 59.44 WR
2. MANAUDOU Laure FRA 59.87
3. NAKAMURA Reiko JPN 1:00.40

Women's 1500m Freestyle
1. ZIEGLER Kate USA 15:53.05 CR
2. RIGAMONTI Flavia SUI 15:55.38
3. SHIBATA Ai JPN 15:58.55

Men's 100m Backstroke
1. PEIRSOL Aaron USA 52.98 WR
2. LOCHTE Ryan USA 53.50
3. TANCOCK Liam GBR 53.61

Women's 100m Breaststroke
1. JONES Leisel AUS 1:05.72 CR
2. KIRK Tara USA 1:06.34
3. KHLISTUNOVA Anna UKR 1:07.27

2007 World Swimming Championships - Day 1 & 2

2007 World Swimming Championships
25.03.2007 - 1.04.2007
Melbourne, Australia

Official Website

Day 1

Men's 400m Freestyle
1. PARK Tae Hwan KOR 0.68 3:44.30
2. MELLOULI Oussama TUN 0.79 3:45.12
3. HACKETT Grant AUS 0.81 3:45.43

Women's 400m Freestyle
1. MANAUDOU Laure FRA 0.87 4:02.61 CR
2. JEDRZEJCZAK Otylia POL 0.78 4:04.23
3. SHIBATA Ai JPN 0.86 4:05.19

Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle
1. Australia AUS 3:35.48 CR
2. United States USA 3:35.68
3. Netherlands NED 3:36.81

Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle
1. United States USA 3:12.72 CR
2. Italy ITA 3:14.04
3. France FRA 3:14.68

Day 2

Men's 100m Breaststroke
1. HANSEN Brendan USA 59.80
2. KITAJIMA Kosuke JPN 59.96
3. RICKARD Brenton AUS 1:00.58

Women's 100m Butterfly
1. LENTON Lisbeth AUS 57.15 CR
2. SCHIPPER Jessicah AUS 57.24
3. COUGHLIN Natalie USA 57.34

Men's 50m Butterfly
1. SCHOEMAN Roland RSA 23.18
2. CROCKER Ian USA 23.47
3. ANDKJAER Jakob Schiott DEN 23.56

Women's 200m Individual Medley
1. HOFF Kathryn USA 2:10.13 CR
2. COVENTRY Kirsty ZIM 2:10.76
3. RICE Stephanie AUS 2:11.42

Monday, March 26, 2007

2002 Worlds Gala Addenda

And today when I could have seen the part of the gala I missed it simply slipped my mind.

But that's alright... World Swimming Championships have started in Melbourne Australia. So I'll be busy at noon all week.

Go Peter! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2007 Worlds - Exhibition Gala

Due to the summer hour change I missed the first half an hour of the gala. It went something like this only scrambled and in reversed order:

Xue SHEN / Hongbo ZHAO CHN – Caruso by Il Divo, greyish smoky costumes, very distinguished
Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN – Adagio, light mauve costumes
Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY GER – West Side Story, white for her and I think black for him
Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV UKR – Bonnie Tyler’s Turn Around the French version, black for him white for her, possibly her LP dress

Brian JOUBERT FRA – a Josh Groban ballad, black with a red tinge shirt, I don’t know why he insists on ballads for exhibition numbers, they don’t tell me anything, the encore was more dynamic and much better
Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPP – El Tango del Roxanne from Moulin Rouge, black see through shirt, good though not the best tango I’ve seen
Stephane LAMBIEL SUI – his last season Vivaldi program, the sunburned frozen zebra costume
Tomas VERNER CZE – The Pink Panther, black suit with pink gloves and black hat which was replaced towards the end with a white Japanese head band; it didn’t feel unnecessarily long like it did at the Europeans

Albena DENKOVA / Maxim STAVISKI BUL – Aika or something like that, anyway new to me, awful bright pink-orangish costumes, the encore was much better being the end of their FD
Marie-France DUBREUIL / Patrice LAUZON CAN – a Tina Turner song, blue with gold dress for her, yellow top for him
Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO USA – Latino mix, pink costumes minimal for her, she looks great but when you can count the ribs from across the arena you better cover yourself
Isabelle DELOBEL / Olivier SCHOENFELDER FRA – Io so che tu by Davide Esposito, the black tango costumes, their traditional moves put on a different music

Miki ANDO JPN – black little dress that would have looked better at a cocktail party, a Japanese singer sang during her program and encore, nothing special
Mao ASADA JPN – Habanera from Carmen, black with purple instead of red
Yu-Na KIM KOR 186.14 – Christina Aguilera from Mulan soundtrack
Kimmie MEISSNER – a ballad sang by a female artist I didn’t recognize, light yellowish dress too open in the back I’d say

The closing was to Ravel’s Bolero and it was nice to see it did have some choreography put in it. Single skaters did their element in pairs. Too bad Ando fell again when she did her jump. A nice while not startling gala as a whole.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

2007 Worlds - Ladies FPp

Ladies usually bore me the most so I tend to do several other things while watching them. Eurosport not showing much didn’t help either.

1 Miki ANDO JPN 195.09 2 2 – it was so moving when she couldn’t stop crying at the end after she found out she won
2 Mao ASADA JPN 194.45 5 1 – great artistry and technique too
3 Yu-Na KIM KOR 186.14 1 4 – she was better in the short
4 Kimmie MEISSNER USA 180.23 4 3 – not enough, and not a good technique
5 Yukari NAKANO JPN 168.92 7 6 – did I miss her? must have
6 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 168.92 3 9 – she was very insecure with each element she did pretty much like the past couple of years
7 Sarah MEIER SUI 160.80 9 8 – haven’t seen her
8 Susanna POYKIO FIN 160.12 10 7 – haven’t seen her
9 Emily HUGHES USA 159.06 6 13 – she’s athletic and determined but nothing much else

Friday, March 23, 2007

2007 Worlds - Ladies SP

Haven’t seen not nearly enough of it, barely the last two groups or a little more and had to struggle with some cable problems on the way too.

1 Yu-Na KIM KOR 71.95 – she was good, but I wasn’t stunned, maybe I should watch it again
2 Miki ANDO JPN 67.98 – good technique but the rest is lacking
3 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 67.15 – unfortunately I missed her
4 Kimmie MEISSNER USA 64.67 – not a great technique or artistry but she is pleasant enough to watch on the ice, better than last year
5 Mao ASADA JPN 61.32 – eh so so, not really impressed
6 Emily HUGHES USA 60.88 – dynamic but still a bit heavy
7 Yukari NAKANO JPN 60.62 – too many Japaneses to remember them all
8 Julia SEBESTYEN HUN 59.98 – it was great seeing her do a good program again after so long
9 Sarah MEIER SUI 58.52 – nice but not enough apparently
10 Susanna POYKIO FIN 57.16 – wonderful presence on ice
11 Elena SOKOLOVA RUS 55.83 – another one whose time is gone
12 Arina MARTINOVA RUS 54.69 – there’s a Russian lady to look forward seeing in the future
13 Elene GEDEVANISHVILI GEO 53.97 – I really like her, she brings a fresh air to skating

2007 Worlds - Ice Dance FD

I’ve only seen half of the group before the last one and I was half asleep so I can’t say much about it. As for the last group…

1 Albena DENKOVA / Maxim STAVISKI BUL 201.61 2 1 1 – they well deserved it, they are so cute together and looked good in those white and gold bondage costumes
2 Marie-France DUBREUIL / Patrice LAUZON CAN 200.46 1 3 2 – they were sweet, and it’s probably one of the few dances without much of a story that I really like
3 Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO USA 195.43 5 2 4 – her blue dress was better this time around but they still look kinda childish to me
4 Isabelle DELOBEL / Olivier SCHOENFELDER FRA 195.19 4 5 3 – they looked off for the most part of the program and only towards the end started to come to life and show that they really enjoyed what they were doing, for the rest they looked like doing an exercise more likely
5 Oksana DOMNINA / Maxim SHABALIN RUS 193.44 3 4 5 – lovely music but I still don’t get their dance.

Overall I was happy with the results.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

2007 Worlds - Ice Dance OD

1 Albena DENKOVA / Maxim STAVISKI BUL 99.52 2 1 – they did the best tango, Piazzola should be proud they were using his music
2 Marie-France DUBREUIL / Patrice LAUZON CAN 99.50 1 3 – it just happened that I missed seeing them
3 Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO USA 99.02 5 2 – still not impressed, that was not a tango dress it looked more like a Barbie on skates
4 Oksana DOMNINA / Maxim SHABALIN RUS 97.63 3 4 – kinda got stuck on that lovely dress and forgot to really watch
5 Isabelle DELOBEL / Olivier SCHOENFELDER FRA 96.02 4 5 – something was missing there, not sure what, too serious and not enough passion maybe, and I could have sworn that dress was navy instead of black from what I remembered
6 Jana KHOKHLOVA / Sergei NOVITSKI RUS 89.20 6 7 – not sure what kind of tango they thought they were doing, in pants!, but it suited them

2007 Worlds - Men FP

1 Brian JOUBERT FRA 240.85 1 3 – he played it safe, maybe too safe, he made no mistakes but there was not much passion either and I’m a little embarrassed for him to win the World title like that
2 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 237.95 3 1 – he was quite a surprise, I hadn’t expected him to do this well
3 Stephane LAMBIEL SUI 233.35 6 2 – great comeback after that bad SP, one of my favorite programs from the free
4 Tomas VERNER CZE 226.25 9 4 - too bad for that fall at the end but it was a great performance and it was obvious he was very happy too, elegant costume, it would have been great to see him on the podium but it was still quite a victory for him
5 Evan LYSACEK USA 222.18 5 5 - there was no choreography there, he could have skated to any other music and chased the same jumps, some hesitations at combinations
6 Jeffrey BUTTLE CAN 214.96 2 8 – after the second fall he said goodbye to the podium, I didn’t miss him
7 Nobunari ODA JPN 209.94 14 6 – much better than in the SP
8 Johnny WEIR USA 206.97 4 10 – he doubled several jumps, better program artistically than Lysacek’s but still kinda boring, I kept waiting for him for fall and only that kept me awake
9 Kristoffer BERNTSSON SWE 206.29 15 7 – best program he’d ever done, even with the fish skin looking shirt, good for him!
10 Sergei DAVYDOV BLR 203.05 8 12 – he delivered just like he did at the Euros
11 Alban PREAUBERT FRA 202.60 10 11 - interesting choreography
12 Stefan LINDEMANN GER 198.78 16 9 – better than the SP, he was concentrating on each element