Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Bruges

After a friend’s recommendation I watched In Bruges the other night and I really liked the movie a lot. The story starts with two hitmen arriving in the Belgian city of Bruges where they’re supposed to await further instructions. It subsequently turns out that Ray, the younger one of them (played by Colin Farrell), had accidently killed a young boy during his previous job. After a couple of days his older colleague Ken (Brendan Gleeson) receives orders by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to kill Ray. Amidst the unfolding story Ray meets two very interesting characters: ChloĆ«, a Belgian girl and Jimmy, a dwarf actor.

The film works incredibly well due to the interesting combination of very unique people, the excellent acting, the quiet backdrop of Bruges and the three unique main characters portrayed by Farrell, Gleeson and Fiennes. Definitely a well recommended movie, though some viewer discretion is advised as the f-word is used quite extensively (126 times according to IMDB) and there’s one scene towards the end that might be hard to stomach for some people.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The International

I went to see The International tonight after reading quite a lot about the film’s opening during the Berlin International Film Festival in early February. Plus being a big fan of director Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run and actor Clive Owen helped in the decision to watch this movie during a time when the list of interesting movies currently in the cinemas is ridiculously long.

Anyway, while the story is off to somewhat of a slow start the pace picks up after about 35 minutes and goes on to include some truly great action scenes and very nice locations for the unfolding plot. The highlight is undoubtedly an extensive shootout in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The film also makes great use of the locations such as Berlin, NYC and Istanbul the characters visit. Plus there are two relatively slow on-foot chases which are a nice change from the insanely-fast-cut action sequences one sees way too often.

Apart from the slow start the only slight downside of The International are some of the dialogues. Often they look like the actors / characters are trying too hard which makes things look overly artificial.

All in all this was a very enjoyable movie and definitely among the better action flicks I’ve seen in the past year or so.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Base System @ XKCD

I have previously mentioned some XKCD comics that I really liked and this one here is no exception. In fact I would say it’s probably one of the funniest ones I’ve seen in a long time! :-)

See the high-res version over at

Monday, February 2, 2009

William Gibson Quote

I had previously mentioned reading William Gibson’s “Pattern Recognition” during the Christmas holidays and today I finally managed to take a closer look at his Wikipedia entry. From there I was lead to his Web site where I stumbled across one of the greatest  quotes I’ve seen in quite some time:

“I suspect I have spent just about exactly as much time actually writing as the average person my age has spent watching television, and that, as much as anything, may be the real secret here.”