Yearly Archives: 2009

House – Broken

Wow what an excellent double length start of the House season. A clear showcase for Hugh Laurie’s acting talents ! Especially the first hour or so was excellent. Showing House realizing that he does indeed have a problem coping with things happening in his life.

In the latter half of the show though, things took a spiral downwards as some very unlikely and cheesy events took place. Alvin wanted to get better after seeing House leave, and then started taking his medicine. And the cello player lady all of a sudden could pull off a very difficult piece after not having played for 10 years (I am not even going to mention the music box). I think in real life your fingers would drop off playing like that without practice.

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What was so interesting about this episode was that it was just Hugh Laurie and an excellent support cast, that didn’t have any of the regular characters. Except for a brief appearance by Wilson. This once and again confirmed it’s all about House, and the others like Thirteen, Cutner etc are disposable add-ons. The highlights of most episodes to me are his moments with Wilson though, so I must say I kind of missed those.

спални комплектиIt will be interesting to see where the writers will go from here. Back to the same (now somewhat) old format of a medical mystery and some personal drama, or will they come up with some thing more original ?

Polite Dissents’s review of this episode

The king of pop has left the building

Late last thursday night the news came out, that MJ suffered a cardiac arrest and supposedly died. Not a real surprise, he didn’t exactly look healthy the past few years.

At the time I didn’t really care for his music, I listened to other stuff in the ’80s and ’90s, but looking back now, some songs, like Man in the mirror, Dirty Diana and the earlier Jackson 5 stuff are very well done. Regardless what I think, he was one of the biggest entertainers, the world has ever seen for almost 3 decades (not really counting the 2000era, let’s forget about those).

He was a stage persona, and wasn’t very happy off-stage, which lead to all sorts of antics. A kid trapped in a man’s body, very naive and not understanding the world around him very well. May he rest in peace !

Two Legends

Two Legends

Upgrade to WordPress 2.8 and Lightbox

Very fast affair through the admin interface ! Unfortunately it broke my lightbox jQuery implementation. I did manage to get it working again by using this lightbox 0.5 version and adding

jQuery("a[rel*='lightbox']").lightBox(); // Select all links that contains lightbox in the attribute rel

to my js init script. I might take another look at it soon, to get the other one working again as that was a bit better with grouping support…

Not quite sure what’s better about 2.8, I hope the mysterious WEBSTAT iframe injections will be gone, as that was a PITA with 2.7.1.

UPDATE: Managed to get this plugin to work. Edit the mainplugin php a bit as it’s no longer needed to de_queue the default jquery script. WP 2.8 comes out of the box with jQuery 1.3.2.

So this is what it looks like:

wp_enqueue_script('jquery');
wp_enqueue_script('jquery-lightbox', $path.'jquery.lightbox.min.js', array('jquery'), '1.3.2');
wp_enqueue_script('jquery-lightbox-plugin', $path.'jquery.lightbox.plugin.min.js', array('jquery', 'jquery-lightbox'), '1.0');
optical amplifier

Lost – Season 5 Finale – The Incident

We got a very intriguing and engaging finale for the excellent season 5. Although some aspects of this season closer didn’t sit well with me, it was excellent anyway. When a tv show has you thinking even a few days after you saw it, the producers must have done something right :). I am sure I’ll spend some more blogposts on this one !

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Let me get out of the way what I thought was a bit cheap. Introducing Jacob as a ‘real’ character at this point felt wrong, so late in the series. Now all of a sudden, we learn that he has been manipulating people’s lifes all this time and somehow lure them on the island, this also explains a lot of the ‘coincidences’ where the losties had already some ties to each other before coming to the island. Deus ex machine comes to mind : literally "god from the machine") is a plot device in which a person or thing appears "out of the blue" to help a character to overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty. I really wonder when they came up with this. But anyway it’s here and we got to deal with it. The casting of Jacob could have been a bit better, he didn’t look at all like I would have pictured Jacob.

Basically the very first scene of Jacob weaving some tapestry and meeting with Esau on the beach, was the most important scene on Lost so far. We finally get to know what is going on. It seems that two ‘demi-gods’ are playing some sort of game. Jacob is trying to proof a point, where as Esau desperately is trying to find a loophole in order to kill Jacob. Jacob keeps bringing people to the island, and Esau claims they will only corrupt and eventually kill themselves.

Some people claim it’s a battle of good and evil (hence the black and white shirts), but I am in the other camp that says it’s freewill vs. fate. Jacob does some horrible things as well (distracting Sayid as they cross the street wasn’t very nice). All in all very intriguing ! And it seems the Widmore vs Ben is sort of a mirror of their game. On the other hand in the greater scheme of things, that one is somewhat minor than the Jacob vs Esau game. The Locke / Ben situation was apparently the loophole, that Jacob helped set up as well. Was Juliet the variable though ? As she was the only one not getting a Jacob’s touch in the flashbacks.

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The other thing that was just plain dumb was the whole Sayid, Jack, Kate etc story line. In less than 2 hrs (as Sayid claimed), they crossed over to the other island, ran to the drill site after meeting Rose and Bernard (which was a great moment btw!). Oh yeah they also had 2 gunfights where Jack was dropping Dharma guys like flies while not getting shot himself, and a fistfight with Sawyer.

Juliet dropping down the hole was sad, the scene with Sawyer grabbing her hand was very moving. But how did she ever survive that fall ? And a nuke that’s set to blow up (by McGyver Sayid) on impact, didn’t blow up, but we’re supposed to believe that it did after Juliet slaps it with a rock ? My guess is that it never did blow up and the Dharma folks build the swan station on top of it. The flash we say at the end was another time travel thing, and the losties in 1977 are back on their way to 2007 (imho of course ;)).

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That sounded overly critical, but overall it did make for some very nice and exciting television ! Of course I was sitting on the edge of my seat during that all. Also Ben in his current mode is very fun (I was enjoying some quiet time Joooohn). And then the big surprise of Locke’s body in the box. We already noticed that Locke was being different, and especially this episode he was starting to act ‘out of character’. Still a nice surprise though :). And very well acted by Terry O’Quinn. Kinda sad Locke now is really dead :(.

What exactly is the whole purpose of that Ilana gang ? Besides carrying a box with a dead guy for an entire episode ? And indeed, for what is Lapidus a good candidate ? The flashback with Jacob and Ilana didn’t seem to serve any purpose. We don’t even know her, much less why she was in a cast in some foreign hospital. And I don’t believe they’re the Good Guys. I don’t believe in good and bad at all anymore on this show.

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So many more thoughts on this episode, but at least I’ll have something to blog about while we wait for season 6 !

Links:

Buddy TV

What’s Alan Watching ?

The transmission

Lost 5×15 – Follow The Leader – Good Riddance

Wow, a very different episode from last week. The story is moving on on all fronts (or moving back to our time it seems) as we get closer to this Season’s Closing Episode ! Bit hard to express all the thoughts that come up after watching this one, but I’ll give it a try ;).

"I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble." -Richard Alpert
"Why do you think I tried to kill him?" -Ben

Locke really is different from the person who died, some episodes ago. Eve Richard notices ! He seems to be even more in touch with the island, or at least thinks he is, which becomes evident when he gets the timing to have Richard help himself in the past, exactly right. Ben is very surprised and so is Richard. Apparently Richard doesn’t know everything either, he was very surprised to see Locke again after three years, and even more surprised to hear he actually died and came back.

Richard telling Locke to get everyone back on the island and having to die, was very weird. A time travel paradox, circle kind of thing, and those are very hard to wrap your mind around. Then Locke proceeds to arrange a march on Jacob in order to kill him. Can Jacob even be killed ? I thought he only showed himself when he wanted himself to be shown. I guess we’ll see how that ends in the final episode of this season.

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Lost 5×14 – The Variable

We got an amazing Faraday centric episode this week ! The flow was a bit better than Sayid’s episode. Though a few less flashbacks/forwards would have been fine as well.

Everything fell into place in this episode. The scene from the season 5 opener, with Chang at the drill site. An emotional wreck Dan, watching the plane crash. Dan telling Charlotte to get on the sub etc.. So I thought that was it, tieing everything together and moving on with the story.

I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn’t think I could change things. But maybe I can.

But the whole point of this episode was Dan desperately trying to change the future. And in the end he found out that ‘Whatever happens happens’. Was this really Dan’s destiny, to be shot by his mother in 1977 ? You would think his mother had bigger plans for him, but she now even had to send him back to the island. ‘Don’t talk to me about sacrifices !’ Eloise tells Dan’s father Widmore.

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Windows 7

Windows 7 RC1 will be released on MSDN on april 30th. There is a very nice review/ preview on the windows supersite. From my experience so far (from the public beta):  it’s very slick and snappy. The ui is a lot better too, especially the task bar. It stacks the programs in a much nicer way, and you can easily switch between windows etc.. But read the extensive review below for (much) more info .

But Windows 7, in release candidate guise, is already a towering achievement that casts Windows Vista immediately in its shadow.

Microsoft’s Windows 7 Site

Windows 7 RC1 Review

Lost 5×13 – Some like it Hoth

A very entertaining episode this week. A bit different from the few previous ones as it had a somewhat lighter tone. This one tells the story of Miles. It turns out that it was true what most people were already expecting: Miles is indeed the son of the Dharma Initiative video man Chang.

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At some point, early in his life, Chang sent Miles and his mother off to the main land though, and never saw him again. We haven’t seen how this went down, maybe he saw the impending doom coming down the road or something else was up and thought it was safer to send them away ? The final scene was quite touching, even Miles got a bit teary eyed, where Chang was reading a story to his son.

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The scenes with Hurley and Miles in the van were very funny. It’s funny that Hurley thinks he has some sort of similar gift as Miles does. “You’re just jealous that my gift is better than yours” was hilarious.

In his review of this episode, Alan Sepinwall asks what would you do to improve "Empire Strikes Back", as it is already so good. Well maybe we have been watching the Hurley improved ‘Empire’ all this time :).