May 312009 logoI broke the fifty reviews-barrier at the other day.

And certainly don’t intend to stop.

The first couple of months in a very abbreviated format:

  • Best food: Dong Bei Hu (recently relocated).
  • Biggest disappointment: Casa Largo.
  • Most pleasant surprise: Ryan Thai.
  • Strangest: Kimito Kitchen (by a mile).
  • Next in line: Plenty more reviews.
May 302009

Almost missed the visiting exhibit that explains the relationship of Walt Disney and european art. The exhibit closes on Sunday, and this was definitely not to be skipped. Especially on a Friday when the entrance fee is omitted.

The contents indeed concentrate on the first three decades of animated classics – the films whose production Walt Disney himself oversaw. There’s a room for each film (from Snowwhite to Junglebook) as well as some generic background material in the form of books and even earlier films. Each film is illustrated with a short clip that concentrates on a particular theme.

By far the biggest discovery in the exhibit was that of Destino, the cartoon co-implemented with Salvador Dalí in the forties and the subsequently forgotten. The short film was completed a couple of years ago (about sixty years after it was started), and hasn’t been promoted much.

May 302009

Dennis Detwiller, one of the most prolific authors of Cthulhu-related gaming goodness has been prolific lately.

The fourth part of the Future/Perfect-campaign is now out, though it has not been integrated to the first three parts yet.

The sixth issue of Worlds of Cthulhu features the first installment of the Dreamlands-centric improbably named The sense of the sleight of hand man. Hopefully the second part comes out in reasonable time as well, this magazine has not really been one to calibrate calendars with.

May 292009

X-Men Origins:  Wolverine PosterThe X-Men prequel on the feistiest member of the group turned out not so good. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a moderately entertaining movie, with both a quite large set of interesting moments but plenty of long boring scenes inbetween.

Indeed, this vehicle for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is far less than the sum of its parts. Even the appearance of the movie itself is an oddity – the character’s background having been semi-well established in the second part of the saga.

This is a busy movie. There’s plenty of characters famous from previous filmed installments as well as from comics. I’m pretty sure I missed most of the references, not having read the superhero soap opera since they heydays of Claremont & Byrne (the post-reboot set by Whedon et. al. does not count). On one hand this intertextuality is good, on the other it’s very distracting, and borders on conflicting with the canon established by the original trilogy. Gambit’s portrayed in a very cool fashion, and I’d expect the character more screen time in the inevitable sequels (two have already been announced).

And for the spendex-clad hero with serious self-control problems in the comics, the conscience-ridden pacifism just does not sit very convincingly. The alleged troubled past he shares with Stryker is very curtailed in this movie – at odds with (again) the X2 movie.

Other than the script-induced issues, Jackman remains excellent as the protagonist. Apart from Danny Huston’s turn as the scheming Stryker, the rest of the actors suffer either from paper-thin characters or too little time on screen to establish any real presence.

And I’m disappointed they did not tie the events on Three Mile Island to the actual narrowly averted catastrophe of 1979.

And I’m even more disappointed at the constant barrage of cliches on screen and the most blatant reset-button used at the very end of the movie.

But even then, the origins of Wolverine do entertain for the two hours the movie takes. Too bad the plot falls to pieces upon closer inspection.

May 282009

Ballad of Gay Tony LogoRockstar Games just anounced the second (and allegedly last) piece of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV.

Ballad of Gay Tony is scheduled for release sometime in the second half of the year.

And based on the reception for the debut, the Lost and Damned, this will quite worthwhile.

As with Fallout 3, the current king of DLC, I’m not even close to finishing the base game.

May 262009

Observe Towel Day!Nope, that’s not a crossroads in New York, rather an oblique reference of two websites that popped up in the reading queue lately:

Today, May 25th, is towel day, a day to honor the late great Douglas Adams. And this year, unlike many previous, I actually remembered to carry a towel with me. Who knows, it might come in handy on a post-work picnic. And it’s definitely a high time to seek out the original radio play and its magnificent finnish translation.

That was 42.

For 24, I refer you to is the story of implementing a reasonably complete and useful web application from concepting to publishing it in a single day. No clue what’s the implementation technology, but I bet it’s Ruby on Rails.