Zodiac (2007)

Posted by prla1983 on May 21, 2007 • 1 commentsEmail This Post

Went to see Zodiac earlier today. Knowing in advance that it was directed by David Fincher, one of my favorites, the stakes were high as far as I was concerned. I loved Se7en, The Game and Fight Club, but Panic Room was a real let down, so I had mixed feelings.

Still, Zodiac sounded like it could be pretty much like a reprise of Se7en. Now that I've seen it, I can say that it has similarities with it and one important difference. First, obviously the subject matter is pretty much the same, and the film has the same tone and colors (though Se7en was more... I don't know... damp, dark and sharp I guess are the words I'm looking for here, which in that sense made it even better). I could also swear that one particular scene looks so much like another scene on Se7en, that it could very well be a deliberate nod to the director's 1995 movie.

The key difference though, is that whereas in Se7en people (namely, a couple of detectives) are trying to catch a serial killer before he completes what he has set out to do, in Zodiac most of the film is about what happens after that point is reached. How the trail grows colder every day, except for a few obsessive people.

I liked it, but unfortunately its length (158 minutes) and uneven pace make it a film more difficult to digest than it should be in the first place, as far as I'm concerned. At nearly three hours, it's a really long one. Another minor gripe with it for me was that the cast although really competent wasn't memorable. Maybe I'm biased because of the incredible doubles of Pitt/Freeman and Pitt/Norton, but still I would have loved that the two detectives had been played by more interesting actors. In the case of Gyllenhaal, though I admit I'm not a fan of his, I do think he's been perfectly cast for his role.

Still, Fincher seems to be very much in control of his game, delivering again a top film, recovering from the mild disappointment that was Panic Room.


Quote of the Day

Posted by prla1983 on May 20, 2007 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

"Vertigo, they say, is not really a fear of falling; it's a fear of jumping. The gap between the subject and the ground creates such strong psychological conflict in the afflicted that the temptation to eliminate it by leaping into the void is overpowering, and dizziness sets in."
(from Jim Emerson's review of "Red Road")

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When Being Famous Actually Makes a Difference

Posted by prla1983 on May 08, 2007 • 4 commentsEmail This Post

It has come to my attention (via Isabel) that Cristiano Ronaldo, who's probably Portugal's most famous footballer nowadays, has issued a video statement appealing for any information concerning little Maddie McCann's disappearance last week in the Algarve, here in our country.

For one thing, this post serves as a little echo for such appeal and on the other hand to give two thumbs way up for Ronaldo. Sometimes being famous does make a difference and this is definitely one such case.

Let's hope this case has a happy ending, even though it's harder and harder to believe so as the days go by.


Quote of the Day

Posted by prla1983 on May 07, 2007 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

"Your dream world is a very scary place to be trapped inside"
-- Anathema, "Closer"

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Stuff To Check Out Later

Posted by prla1983 on • 2 commentsEmail This Post

  • Rome - The Complete HBO Series 1 (6 Disc Box Set) (IMDb)
    Heard nothing but good things about this one and the IMDb rating is huge for almost 5,000 votes. Guess I'll have to pick it up as soon as I get my degree done with.

  • Six Feet Under (IMDb)
    Somehow I ended up buying the second season a couple of years ago without having seen any of the first beforehand (yeah, dumb me). Saw a couple of episodes the first time around and I guess I just wasn't in the right frame of mind because I detested it. One day, a few months later, on a whim, decided to put it on again and it blew me out of the water instantly. Saw the entire season two, and though I'm sure I could have enjoyed it even more had I seen the first season previously, it was still a huge kick. Isabel has the first season (I should know, I gave it to her last Christmas *grin*) so I will pick that up as soon as I got some free time. Looking forward to move on and catch up on seasons three, four and five!

  • The Proposition (IMDb)
    Have had this one lying around (regretfully alongside many others in the same situation) since Cláudio offered it to me last Christmas. Sounds like it can be a very good one, and I really need to see it. Again, time... and the fucking degree out of the way.

  • Dalí and Pablo Picasso (Taschen Basic Art)
    The enlightening and stimulating conversations with Pedro are starting to pay off in a most unexpected way: I'm starting to feel inclined towards learning about painting! Which is a good thing, of course. I'm also really glad I found out about Taschen, because their catalogue is nothing short of amazing. Saw these two at Fnac earlier today, just didn't pick them up right away because, honestly, I'm really low on currency right now. But that's a whole different story...

  • A Letter Concerning Toleration
    Entirely thanks to Pedro again, following a quick chat about tolerating other people's actions and reactions and basically what's that all about. In the end, how to live better with ourselves and alongside the people that we really care about with conflict and unhappiness reduced to a minimum (this could really lend itself to an entire post about it... maybe some day).

    Any thoughts on these ones?

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  • One Pixel Border on Photoshop

    Posted by prla1983 on May 02, 2007 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

    I was never proficient with Photoshop (or its open-source derivatives) and I still don't know jack about it. However, because of some web design work I got myself into lately, I now move a little more freely about. One thing however that has eluded me forever was how to apply a 1px border around an image or a banner, in this particular case. So, here's a quick recipe I found somewhere on the interweb...

  • Create a new layer
  • Press Command+A (or Ctrl+A on the PC) to select all. Then go to Edit->Stroke and apply the following settings: Width: 1px. Color: Black. Location: Center. Blending Mode: Normal. Opacity: 100%

    Of course your mileage may vary so you should adjust these settings to your particular need. Here's the small banner I created for this blog featured this 1px border:

    This comes along with some cosmetic changes to the site. Hope you enjoy it, feedback welcome!

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  • 13 Years

    Posted by prla1983 on May 01, 2007 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

    It was 13 years ago today that the sports world became poorer after Ayrton Senna died during the Imola Formula 1 Grand Prix, in 1994. I have fragmented memories of that day, I was at our beach place with some people from our family when it all happened. I was only 10 at the time, so I probably didn't understand the full extent and magnitude of what was happening, but Senna was my favorite driver and it was brutal. I couldn't believe it for some three or four days afterwards, like it couldn't be true. And I remember everyone was feeling very uneasy during those hours where no one would say if he made it or not after being taken to the hospital.

    And let's not forget Roland Ratzenberger also died earlier on that fatal weekend...

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