Sep 302007

The finnish entry in the Stay True to John Woo contest clicks on most cliches related to the director…

White dove: check.
Guns akimbo: check.
Insurmountable odds: check.
Slow-mo: check (but with clippy myspace video this may be unintentional).
Mexican standoff: check

And the game seems interesting as well. But the influx of shooting games may be its undoing this fall – competition is stiff from the likes of Halo3 and Bioshock. But for a spiritual sequel to Hard-Boiled, Woo’s last Hong Kong film thus far, there ought to be a cordite-drenched niche somewhere on the shelves.

Sep 292007

Something for the unstable season – an umbrella that knows when it’s going to rain, and is able to relay the information via a pulsing light when it’s advisable to pick it up when going out.

Like Nabaztag, the first wireless data-bunny – this is a test run device and no ready for the masses (especially with the limited service and coverage), but nonetheless a harbinger of an even more connected future.

Sep 292007

As the third movie of the ongoing Rakkautta & Anarkiaa- festival, saw Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, his return movie from Hollywood to Holland.

And liked the movie a lot – the depiction of life in occupied (and finally, liberated) Hague is done well, and remains interesting for the duration. In spite of a clumsy start, the rest of the film rolls along, at times picking up pace to a blitzkrieg level – the twists and traps in the plot are laid on thick and deep.

This is indeed Verhoeven’s first dutch movie in decades, and it’s also the best Verhoeven in ages, let’s hope the next movie doesn’t take as long to be completed. The cast seems to be (based on the actors’ names) entirely local, and especially Carice van Houten as the lead actress ought to be destined to a bright future, her performance is nothing short of dazzling.

Impressive, and easily the best movie of the festival thus far. And likely to remain so.

Sep 272007

Cursive melancholy - Photo Thursday week #61 challengeThis week’s photo thursday challenge subject is cursive melancholy. In finnish “kursiivinen”, instead of referring to slanted (italic) typography, means “continuous”.

My take on the subject is the attached image, a rainy street scene through a glass on which droplets are flowing. It definitely isn’t continuous, but the rain sure felt like going on and on.

(As usual, the full-size photograph is available by clicking the attached image.)

Sep 262007

Nah, on account of a really early morning, lack of sleep on the train and a not really late morning today, it sure was a good idea to abandon the idea of going to pick up nocturnally released goodies after midnight.

They were still available today.

Sep 252007

The Hakkapeliitat team took the first step towards recovery by actually winning a game.

Not with a large margin. And certainly not pretty.

Even with Brian Westbrook having an evening for the books (three scores, 110 yards running and 111 yards catching), the rest of the team wasn’t too comfortable on the field. Drew Brees at the QB position continues to struggle – at a ratio of one TD to seven picks, he’s now benched (and not only due to having a bye next week).

The new guys off the waiver played well, and certainly cemented the success. But the first substitutions were just a beginning – I so need reliable receivers, receivers that play for a team that actually scores touchdowns in the air.

Sep 252007

This blog is now two thousand entries old.

No calamities or worldwide chaos are expected on account of the barrier being broken.

EDIT: Yeah, originally this said 2000 thousand. Can’t be explained by a simple typo, but severe lack of sleep always works as an excuse.

Sep 252007

Tomorrow night, there will be not one, but two night sales in Helsinki.

Both on items expected to sell no less than absolute zillions.

Halo 3 gets its european release a day after the american. Having never owned an Xbox, haven’t really played either of the two original episodes, their inclusion on this disc would have been a feat of digital archeology, but that didn’t happen.

Nightwish will release Dark Passion Play, their sixth studio album on the very same day. The first two singles Eva and especially Amaranth have been very promising, and Anette Olzon sounds like a very credible replacement to the long-gone Tarja Turunen.

Me? I aim to pick up both in one go, just around midnight.

Sep 252007

The only sushi conveyor belt in Finland is now gone, with Eatz having turned to Texas, with a less than thorough redesign.

The Eatz kaiten was never a favorite, even among the meager selection in Helsinki. The selection was often very limited, and including bell pepper chunks in makis would be cause for someone to donate their little fingers after screwing up big time.

Sep 242007

The second movie of the R&A festival was The Trap, a Serbian thriller.

Sadly, the thrill was in short supply, and the movie’s pace pedestrian.

But it’s not all a disaster, though the financially split society is underlined way too prominently, the cinematography on Belgrade slowly recovering from bleakness is worth an extra star on top.

Sep 242007

Watched This Filthy World as the first movie of the annual Rakkautta & Anarkiaa festival.

It’s a netflix-funded recording of a live standup-comedy session by John Waters, one of the original true cult auteurs.

The story nominally covers his filmography, but regularly strays to cover subjects such as Michael Jackson, capital punishment and sex. Normal standup fare, obviously, but executed perfectly by the man with the pencil-thin moustache.

Not a great movie (camera wobbles and cuts off Waters’ legs often), but great entertainment for ninety minutes nonetheless.

Sep 232007

The annual Darts Association-cup was thrown yesterday, and I proudly can testify in having sucked worse than ever before. Dropped four ranks, but a much worse accomplishment was the utter inability to reliably throw.

Streaked nicely during the practice rounds, but choked when the competition got going, spending round after round trying to hit the lowest numbers.

Oh well, it can’t get any worse than this, dartswise, barring actual hurting someone with bouncebacks.

Sep 222007

One of the firm signs of the autumn is the arrival of a new novel by Ilkka Remes. Or actually two, since the author has taken to releasing two books simultaneously: the traditional annual technothriller and a more or less related kids book alongside.

This year’s book (based on a brief reading of the back cover blurb) is about german heritage in modern day Finland, with probably a good measure of eugenics and biological warfare thrown in for good measure. Hopefully the cover image (a nazi astronaut on the moon) bears some relationship to the content and is not just for show.

Incidentally, the main event is several euros cheaper than the much thinner young adults’ book, and the trend seems to continue amongst the older books – the kids books are rather expensive as paperbacks.

Sep 212007

What else but an encounter with the ubiquitous Murphy could result in first getting drenched in pouring rain, missing the right stop in a bus and then forgetting the umbrella in said bus.

Thankfully the rain had subsided a bit during the ride.

Sep 202007

The name and publication schedule of the seventh Harry Potter translation have been announced: Harry Potter ja Kuoleman Varjelukset will see daylight on the seventh of march next year.

Which reminds me that I still haven’t seen the latest movie, which is probably shuffling towards the exits in cinemas already.

Sep 202007

The third collected edition of Brian Wood‘s DMZ is out, and the five-issue trade paperback is highly recommended. Just like the two previous.

The war is now over, and the vultures, in the form of a thinly veiled Halliburton/Blackwater-analogy descend upon the gutted island of Manhattan. The plotline begins in media res, and never lets go.

Imagery is raw – even more unfinished than in the previous installments, but that, apart from a very conspicuous unfinished face, doesn’t really matter. New York in ruins is not supposed to be pretty, and this book continues rubbing the fact in. With steel wool and coarse-grained salt.

As an added bonus the single page introduction of the volume is strangely pointful – usually they are exercises in either vanity or the obvious, but Cory Doctorow manages to avoid either pitfall.

Sep 202007

Stones - Photo Thursday week #60 challengeThis week’s photo thursday challenge subject is stones.

My take on the subject is the attached image, a pile of small stones picked up during the last two years – some from beaches and shores, but a majority (and all of the polished ones) from shops. Toyed with the idea of photographing a pile of Rolling Stones records, but decided against it.

(As usual, the full-size photograph is available by clicking the attached image.)