23 September 2006

Running Scared

My future husband Paul Walker stars in this action-packed thriller, which hit the box office back in April this year. I missed it on the big screen, so for being a fan of Paul Walker's I had to order the DVD. Yesterday, the beautiful steelbook arrived from amazon. The booklet contains a comic version of the first scene of the movie, which is made in the same style as the end credits, that tell the film's story in a very condensed form. The same sequence was used for and incorporated in the menu of the DVD, which sets the mood for the things to come. There's an audio commentary by director Wayne Kramer, material from a B-roll, interviews with the cast a storyboard-clip, the trailers and a gallery.

The movie itself is shot very fast but still extremely well, the amount of fake blood needed for the opening scene alone would make Tarantino proud. The cuts flow into one another, it seems like a following scene is part of the image of the one ending. For example, the image of one scene spins around 180 degrees and flows out of the frame to reveal the sign of a motel (so the beginning of the new scene), well you'll have to see it for yourself, it's pretty neat.

The movie, while centering around the character of Paul Walker and his family and being chronologically linear, takes a lot of elements from movies like 11:14 or the mother of all episodic movies: Pulp Fiction. There's a chain of events unveiling with a lot of bumps along the way, which have nothing to to with the main plot itself, but add a lot of depth to the dark & corrupt world of the movie, which more frighteningly is just beneath the surface of our every day lives, with "Apartment 303" being the most terrifying scene, even though each other scene has had more blood in it.

There's a guy, who lost a gun, with which a corrupt police officer was killed and he's in search of the boy who took it and the gun itself to not get killed by his gang. There's a boy running from everybody, because he took a hidden gun to shoot his father, who abused him and his mother. There's a Russian who got shot by his son and needs him to tell the police where the gun came from, because he doesn't want to go to jail for brewing drugs in his garage. There's a police officer trying to find the gun, that shot a collegue with whom he tried to rob a gang buying drugs off of Jamaicans.... There are a hundered stand alone stories, which are getting connected through one boy's act of revenge, his running away and the search for him and the gun he used.

It's a gangster story, it's a father-son story, it's blood all over the streets. Very conventional concepts, combined in a fresh and on-the-edge-of-your-seat way. Watch it!

Watch the trailer here. Visit the German website here.


- Action/Thriller - USA 2006
- FSK: ages 16 and up
- Runnig Time: 122 min.
- German publisher: 3L
- German Publish Date: 13.04.2006 / DVD: 31.08.2006

17 September 2006

Of bees and flowers.

A month before closing down and reopening as public park, I visited Rathenow's State Garden Show (LAGA - Landesgartenschau).

I found 8€ to be the maximum one could charge for walking through a park, which it was, essantially. One enters near some old warehouses of the Rathenow inland port, which have been completely modernized and served as flowerhouse in which local horticultural businesses showed off some of their skills and range of products. Adjoining these two warehouses was a stage for some kind of evening program, which I didn't attend to.

Now, off to the park itself. The entrypoint was a little bit special, because one was going "over the Havel" to get to the park. They took an old barge and towed it under the bridge, so one didn't have to get wet feet.

Once in, I met one of the three mascots of the show: Havi (the girl inside could hardly see a thing, but everyone has got to earn some money, don't they).

Then I took some minutes at the White Café to relax after the 2hour drive before continuing my stroll. First and last thing you'll enconter are the graves, an element of the park, which I already knew from Rostock's IGA in 2003 and yet again find a little disturbing.

The main attraction are monochromatic rows of beds of flowers, which extend from two colored pyramids, like rays of light emerging from a prism. The other "larger" attraction is a water garden, which essentially is a pool of water crossed by wooden bridges, that imitate the form of the Weltzeituhr on Berlin's Alexanderplatz. I found myself dwelling under some large old weeping willows at the grassy shore of hat pool, my favourite place of this day.

Near the end of the round were the installations for the kids, which also - like the rest of the park - had something to do with optics. That is, because Rathenow is the center of the optical industry in the state of Brandenburg.

I wasn't blown away by the park, but it was only a LAGA and as such it was nice enough.

In descending order: IGA - BUGA - LAGA (international-, federal-, state-horticultural show)

So if you are interested in gardening and plants growing in our region or if you want to let your kids have some fun in the show's playgrounds, use the remaining warm and sunny days and visit Rathenow until Oct. 15th.

PS. It's funny, that they chose a rainbow as the show's symbol. Watch the entire photo-set on flickr.com.

12 September 2006

Battlestar Galactica will be back Oct. 6th.

It's been a while since we laid down our burdens back in March. The show-runners decided to bridge the countdown to Battlestar Galactica's 3rd season with 10 webisodes, short clips that lead up to the current state of humanity on New Caprica as portrayed in the coming season 3 premiere on October 6th. For a complete listing of the credits of those webisodes, entitled The Resistance, read Ron Moore's blog.

The Story So Far, is a special 44min recap airing on all NBC/Universal stations throughout the weeks, which takes you all the way back to the mini-series and the following two seasons up to the events that stranded the survivors on New Caprica. This recap is narrated by Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell). A short 3minute version of the recap/primer and teasers are available on SciFi.com and it's SciFiPulse videoportal.

(For all those outside the US, go to YouTube.com to view the webisodes.)

There are also 4 new wallpapers and two posters available on SciFi.com (yeah and buddy icons, but who needs those?)

Well, I for one can hardly wait to see the premiere of my current favourite of all TV shows.

03 September 2006

"Stars for Free" - Saturday.

I just came back from a very nice (and free) concert. Since 3p.m. the Wuhlheide was crumbling with people, who won their tickets to this all-free concert, initated by a local radio station: 104.6 RTL. For its 10th time(!) the radio station (which turns 15 itself next week) and its sponsors managed to get musicians from the current german single-charts, as well as some all-time favourites and even first-time-ever performed live songs by 80s icon Kim Wilde, who wasn't on stage for 10 years now. Her new album, produced by Nena-producer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen will be out this September and her current single out of this coming album, is a cover of her own 1988-song "You Came", which she performed on stage as well.

All this was accompanied by a program, in which all the "stars" of the radio station came on stage and did what they do when on the job: they moderated and and had some sponsored prizes to give away.

There were lengths in the program and sometimes it just wasn't "your music" - but it was free and I guess everyone got something to listen to he or she liked. I know I did.

Best act on stage was definately Hermes Houes Band; for being a party-band and with their repertoire of cover songs they rocked the place and everyone was on their feet. Most disturbing were the Gipsy Kings, not that there's anything wrong with their kind fo music, it just didn't fit into the concept. Suffice to say they didn't get much applause. To bad when everything the crowd knows about you is one song (Bamboleo).

Newcomer Marquess is really, really hot and he & his hit-single "El Temperamento" (the music-video of this song will start automatically when you visit his official page) were amongst those who got the crowd going, as well as ex-Blue Simon Webbe, whose current album Sanctuary should be known to anyone.

For a complete listing of all the contributors to this show visit 104.6 RTL's page.

Kim Wilde sang her last song and left the stage, that then went black just after her exit. At either side of the stage two glowing flames came on and a curtain of sparks laid a glow on the first rows of people gathered in front of the stage. The streams of sparks finally died and then ... the sky exploded with the most beautiful and largest fireworks I have ever seen. They even surpassed those of the grand opening of Berlin Central Station earlier this year (IMO), which of course had a more complex light show going on before the fireworks.

So, Stars for Free 2006 wasn't a perfect match with my taste in music for being called a great show by myself, but I had a good time.

PS. my favourite single (as in: at the moment), the cover of "She's Like The Wind" (yes, the ballad fom Dirty Dancing) by the DJ duo Vibekingz feat. Berlin-based singer Maliq (another hottie) was also performed on stage early on in the show. Listen to the song on Maliq's myspace.

01 September 2006

Caffeine kills.

Go to Energy Fiend's Death by Caffeine, search for your favourite caffeinated beverage, buy the stash of cans needed and you're good to go to leave this world.

Of course, it's a relative account. In my 173.04 cans of Afri Cola is as much caffeine as would kill me, if present in my body at once.

[...]it means that it’s practically impossible to kill yourself with caffeine. Practically. Don’t actually try it. After 1 gram, you’ll be a sad panda. If you manage to even challenge the number, you’ll be a schizophrenic, crazed panda, or a passed out panda. And if you’re passed out, you might get your wallet stolen.

I found this little web-app through the extraordinary, unbelievably funny and exhausting podcast of Munich's dynamic duo: the couchpotatoes. Go, download and/or subscribe to their (almost) weekly podcast and listen to everything that's TV, music, cinema and caffeine.