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syke7

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since 07/06/2006

9

Leon (DVD) 15/06/2006

Gripping action packed story

Leon (DVD) Luc Besson's movie Léon (The Professional) gives us an intense story which is maximized in potential by the casting of the movie done by Todd Thaler. Every aspect of the movie delivers to the audience and makes an impressive overall package. Jean Reno plays a character named Léon who has learned to repress his emotions in order to perform his job as a "cleaner", or hit-man. His secluded world is shattered by the young girl named Mathilda who lives on the same floor as he does in an apartment building. When she turns to him for help, he learns about living a normal life, even if the circumstances which unite them are far from normal. The performance delivered by then twelve-year old Natalie Portman as Mathilda is nothing short of brilliant. Her ability to relate to others with body movement and facial gestures is matched by few, she really brings raw emotion and believability to a difficult role. Mathilda and Léon are unexpectedly thrown together, but learn to value life from their chance encounter, and how valuable a friendship can be. Jean Reno as Léon gives us a solemn and calculated character who sets all of his energy on his assignments until her is given something else to care about. Mathilda gives him the daughter that he never had, while Léon serves as a father and friend to her. Gary Oldman, as the corrupt DEA Agent Norman Stansfield, offers the viewers an amazingly wired and electrical performance which pushes the envelope. He moves the story along by his ...

Mothman Prophecies, The 10/06/2006

Should be called the boredom prophecies

Mothman Prophecies, The I've seen a lot of bad movies, many of them recently. I'm always amazed at what trash will get funded by major studios. SAVING SILVERMAN!!! FREDDIE GOT FINGERED!!! TOMB RAIDER!! But one thing those movies had going for them...I got through them. MOTHMAN PROPHECIES put me to sleep in the movie theatre!!! That never happens. I can endure just about anything, except I'd never realised how lethal a combination of dark images, people whispering a lot, a totally worthless plot that's damn near impossible to follow and Richard Gere can be. I dozed several times. Much has been made of how creepy the movie is. True, they do try to make it creepy and mysterious, but frankly, you should at some point be able to say..."Ah, I see what's going on," or atleast to say at the end of it all, "Now I know what happened." THE SIXTH SENSE was slow and you didn't know what was going on, but it was well crafted and kept one interested in what would happen next. MOTHMAN drains interest with every passing moment. THe final scenes, where a disaster happens, are actually well made. The low budget actually helps the events seem more realistic. But by then, you are flabbergasted that this is all the payoff the movie will give you!! I wanted my two hours back, right now!! Laura Linney, who I used to dislike, but really loved in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, is totally wasted. Her character is only a character in that she wears a costume and says lines, but she is a total cipher. Will Patton, whom I do like ...

Inside Man (2006) DVD 10/06/2006

Hesit movie with a difference!

Inside Man (2006) DVD Note: I stay away from describing the plot in any detail because it would be very hard to do so without spoiling elements of it. "Inside Man" starts out as a no holds barred, high octane action-thriller, and by its midpoint fully transforms into a breezy, tongue-in-cheek heist movie, reminiscent of The Sting. I felt it to be a little over-plotted, but that comes with the genre - the expected twists and turns are all here, thankfully mostly in non-expected ways. Contrivances abound, and we don't really learn the background of the heist (ie. how the robbers learned about their target) but the story and the overall atmosphere more than make up for this. The meticulously designed plot also compensates for the lack of real 3D characterization - save for Denzel Washington's ambitious policeman hero, who at least achieves a level of humanity throughout the story. The character interaction between him and his sidekick (Chiwetel Ejiofor of "Serenity" fame) and the frustrated captain played by Willem Defoe is great with some sparkling dialog. Clive Owen is okay, most of the time convincing as the criminal mastermind, although he spends most of the film wearing a mask. I'd say this film is harmless fun, not your usual Spike Lee fare, which goes to prove his versatility. There is a hint in the back-story at some heavy issues of the past, but it's nothing more than a macguffin that only achieves some slight significance in the resolution of the movie. There is a neat structural trickery ...

Canon EOS 350D 08/06/2006

Entry level DSLR anyone?

Canon EOS 350D I got this camera of my friend as I swapped my Nikon D50 with him recently and all I can say is that I'm utterly impressed. Don't listen to those pro/photosnubs who lambast this very powerful camera. Don't feel envy or inferior than this camera's "bigger" sister (the D20) because it offers, by far, pretty much the same specs. This camera feels solid (though mthe body is made of plastic as opposed to magnesium alloy for its older sister) , very easy to handle and get around of. The plethora of Canon lenses you can attach to this camera is big enough to let your imagination do its work (limited only by the depth of your pockets). *Image quality is bar-none. *Noise @ relatively high ISOs (400-800) is negligible. *Battery life is decent (buy an additional battery). *The auto focus is blazing fast (with canon lenses). *Start-up time is unreal! VERY FAST *Menus and configuration settings of the camera are well thought-out and designed. *Very versatile; in fact, extremelly versatile. Just as it can work for those new to SLRs, it can work for advanced amateurs and semi-pro photographers as well. Things you need to (must) do and buy to make the most of this camera: * Ditch the kit lens...leave it as a "just-in-case-of-doomsday" lens. It's similar 18mm-55mm lens that you get standard with a Nikon D50 but it is by far inferior * Buy at least 2 more lenses one for wide-angle shots and one tele-foto (zoom). I recommend buying Canon's as they perform the best with their ...

All Eyez on Me (Parental Advisory) [PA] - 2Pac 08/06/2006

Nobody did it better

All Eyez on Me (Parental Advisory) [PA] - 2Pac It is rare to be on a soap box like this but I have read about people dissing Tupac's album All Eyes on Me and saying that it is overrated but this is most likely to a generation gap. I can understand why some younger people feel he is overrated because there have been so many people using his style and iambic meter that the sound is sometimes not as exciting to the younger generation of hip hop fans (this is for the most part...but not always). But for a guy like me who was in his late teens/early twenties, the sound is so hip and fresh because it was new. Nobody sounded like him. When he dropped, nobody rapped with such emotion and embodied much of the struggle that many of us was going through...his raps more than empathized with our emotions. When I see evaluations of the album by people I wonder how old are they. Because the day his album dropped, every car that went by on my college campus was bumping that album! I was almost broke and my room mate and I scrapped up the money to both go in and buy it. A Person has to remember, when this album dropped, the now 17, 18, 19 year olds were 6, 7, 8 year olds and really couldn't understand what he meant to the Rap Game. So by the time many of that age group gets into hip hop really deep, they wonder, "what's the big deal with Tupac?" because they have been listening to people imitating his style for years. But in 1993-1996 he was the only one coming so provocative. Who was putting down sounds that rivaled his? People argue ...

Still I Rise (Parental Advisory) [PA] - 2Pac 08/06/2006

I hope he keeps on rising

Still I Rise (Parental Advisory) [PA] - 2Pac Known to be 2Pac's 4th posthumous release album, this is a bit different from all the other ones he has released. Featuring his group, the Outlawz, he created 15 songs that are all well worth listening. Each and every song has an interesting and excellent meaning and the time he put in to make the lyrics incredible is just amazing. As a result, the lyrics are one of 2Pac's finest and even the Outlawz come out good as well. Most of the CD is soft but there are times where the party and more evil tracks come on. Songs like 'BABY DON'T CRY', 'TEARDROPS & CLOSED CASKETS', 'STILL I RISE' and 'AS THE WORLD TURN' are excellent tracks to listen to. 'BABY DON'T CRY' outlines the usual life of a ghetto child and is about a woman's worth. The tune is adorable and the lyrics are just mind-blowing. 'STILL I RISE' is one of the mellowest tracks I've heard by 2Pac, outlining the ups and downs of 2Pac's life. 'TEARDROPS & CLOSED CASKETS' is by far the best song on the CD. It talks mainly about death but has such a smooth and relaxing tune. 'GOOD DIE YOUNG' is another wonderful put together track which is quite different from all other songs. The guitar piece fits in well with the song and the group's lyrical talent is again wonderful. There are times, however, when the CD has its more evil sides. 'HELL 4 A HUSTLA' has to be the most darkest track on the album, 'KILLUMINATI' is another excellent track to listen to. The tune is wonderfully put together, possibly one of the best party tunes ...

Apple iPod 30GB Fifth Generation 08/06/2006

Such is the joy of progress!

Apple iPod 30GB Fifth Generation When it first arrived I couldn't help but straight away feel 'money well spent.' Such a sleek and stylish box and then when you pull the unit out it gets even better. The joy of progress is that you get technological marvels such as the ipod. 30GB is plenty for storage of audio and movies. Very user friendly and watching a movie is very pleasurable the screen is fantastic and the battery will just about last a whole movie from a full charge. No there is no wall chrger but it is a solid poduct the best on the market, you will not be disappointed. Just make sure you get a case for it (easily available on ebay) and you should be o.k as it does have issues of scratching and I even left the original lamenating on it to further scratch proof it. iTunes is simple to use, my 9 year old nephew can even use it. I suggest you don't even bother looking at any other product in this category and I am usually very cynical when it comes to market monopolys from companies like Apple. ...

Nikon D50 08/06/2006

Digital SLR's brought to the mass market!

Nikon D50 First of all, I must admit that this is only my third digital camera, and first digital SLR. But it isn't my first SLR ... I have used a Canon Elan IIE for a number of years, and trust me, that camera is no slouch. But enough about me ... the D50 is the real star of the show! I have had the camera (along with the standard lens included with the kit) and so far I am extremely happy. I purchased it just in time to capture some photos of my new neice, and my family swears that the pictures that I was just casually snapping at the hospital look like they are professional portaits. Granted, some of my family members ... well, their necks are pretty tan, if you know what I mean, but you get the point. The camera has a slew of modes that are ideally suited to your subject (portraits, action, etc etc), and they do a great job of making all of the fine adjustments that improve the overall quality of the photo for the non-experts. But this camera has varying levels of automation to where you would practically require a photography degree to get your picture. My skills are somewhere in between, but trust me, if you are an absolutely beginner, in 5 minutes you can be taking photos that are 99% of the quality that a pro with a £2000 setup would take. Now you might need to snap a few dozen shots to get just one that is amazing, but that is what is just wonderful about digital cameras. And with a huge, super sharp LCD preview window, you can see in an instant if you have a decent shot, ...

digital-cameras.com 07/06/2006

Digital SLR's brought to the mass market!

digital-cameras.com First of all, I must admit that this is only my third digital camera, and first digital SLR. But it isn't my first SLR ... I have used a Canon Elan IIE for a number of years, and trust me, that camera is no slouch. But enough about me ... the D50 is the real star of the show! I have had the camera (along with the standard lens included with the kit) and so far I am extremely happy. I purchased it just in time to capture some photos of my new neice, and my family swears that the pictures that I was just casually snapping at the hospital look like they are professional portaits. Granted, some of my family members ... well, their necks are pretty tan, if you know what I mean, but you get the point. The camera has a slew of modes that are ideally suited to your subject (portraits, action, etc etc), and they do a great job of making all of the fine adjustments that improve the overall quality of the photo for the non-experts. But this camera has varying levels of automation to where you would practically require a photography degree to get your picture. My skills are somewhere in between, but trust me, if you are an absolutely beginner, in 5 minutes you can be taking photos that are 99% of the quality that a pro with a £2000 setup would take. Now you might need to snap a few dozen shots to get just one that is amazing, but that is what is just wonderful about digital cameras. And with a huge, super sharp LCD preview window, you can see in an instant if you have a decent shot, ...
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