Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Dark Knight: Impressive 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

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LG Dare (Verizon Wireless)

 

Just checked out a fascinating CNET video and editorial review about the LG Dare. Very cool phone, features a drag and drop user interface.

Something else to note: The CNET aggregated user review (8.6 average review by 35 users) for the Dare is even higher than CNET’s 8.3 editorial rating. In my experience, when user reviews exceed CNET’s rating, it’s a device worth checking out.

Vantage Point

I just saw Vantage Point, a suspense film starring Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, and many other fine actors. The suspense begins nearly immediately, and never lets up. It feels impressively authentic, like watching a documentary.

The premise is a story of an assassination attempt, told from many different perspectives (thus the title). As each vantage point unfolds, you realize that the event’s facts are just beginning to become apparent. As the viewer comes to this realization, curiosity and suspense build.

This is one of those films where revealing some aspects of the story would probably spoil it entirely. So, if you enjoy suspense films, then consider Vantage Point a must see.

iPhone 3G or Samsung Omnia?

samsung-omnia_unwirednet

The iPhone 3G is quite inviting, to be sure. However, there’s a another interesting touch-screen phone to be released in the U.S. later this year: Samsung Omnia. I’ve been watching some videos to get a better “feel” for the Omnia, and I must say it looks pretty compelling (not to say the iPhone 3G, doesn’t!).

So, what does the Samsung Omnia have that the iPhone 3G doesn’t? A 5mp camera – something photographers can’t help but love. And, for those of us employed by large corporations, the Omnia’s windows mobile professional OS offers Outlook integration capabilities generally unmatched by other mobile operating systems.

Arne at theunwired.net has done a thorough job of reviewing the Samsung Omnia, and posted two videos:

Video #1: Hardware review

Video #2: Software review

Both videos are very well done. If you only watch one, watch the Software video – Arne actually goes through the user interface icon-by-icon (exactly the way I check out new devices).

And, of course, Apple has published an extensive guided tour video to help educate would-be buyers about all the features offered by the iPhone 3G.

I confess, both the iPhone 3G and Samsung Omnia turn my head. The Omnia’s camera and windows mobile platform are definite advantages (for me), but there’s always Apple’s “it just works” ease of use. I’m guessing no matter which of these phones one chooses, it’d be a winner.

Reservation Road: Every parent’s nightmare

I just saw Reservation Road, a Terry George film released in 2007 starring Mark Ruffalo, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Connelly, and Joaquin Phoenix. I’m not sure how to best categorize this movie, whether as suspense or as a psychological study. One thing is for certain: The film depicts every parent’s worst nightmare.

The catalyst occurs early in the film: Mark Ruffalo’s character, an attorney and divorced dad, is driving down a rural road with his son late at night and swerves to avoid oncoming traffic. The swerve, an event that occurs in a blink of an eye , sets off a horrifying chain of events that haunt Ruffalo along with Joaquin Phoenix’s character (and his family) for the remainder of the film.

The film could have been maudlin and depressing to watch. However, it’s impossible to see this film without empathizing with each character. They each struggle to come to terms with what’s happen, to find meaning in their lives that have been forever changed.

I had seen trailers for Reservation Road last summer. I’m glad a friend urged me to see it – it is a very moving film. Highly recommended.

Hairspray (2007)… loved it!

I saw the 1988 version of Hairspray several years ago and loved it. Ricki Lake was perfect as the young girl who just wanted to dance.

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Recently, I finally got around to seeing the 2007 remake that stars John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many others. I love how Hairspray begins – the characters seem completely superficial until the story ramps up. Then, it becomes a great story of moving past outdated attitudes.

Aside from the wonderful story, I confess… I love any movie where John Travolta dances! And dance he does, as gracefully as ever, even in the “fat suit” he wears as Edna Turnblad. Travolta was truly a standout in his unusual role, as the Age.com.au noted.

Would I recommend Hairspray? Definitely.

Poll: Are you planning to get an iPhone 3G?