A time of busy watching!

These days I go to the cinema quite a lot. Out of 21 films currently showing at my local theatre, I've seen 11 and still want to see 4 more. And I already want to see 4 of the 5 that get released today. Sick, I know.

If you are like me, you will know that this is a very good time for filmgoers. With the proximity of the oscars, many production companies that have been holding their products as much as humanly possible, release now oscar-worthy films. Some have been nominated and some haven't (check the list with all the nominees here), but in any case it's a good opportunity to see handsome-looking movies. Valkyre, Frost/Nixon, Seven pounds, The wrestler, The curious case of Benjamin Button, and, depending on how picky you are, probably some more.

So go and watch some cinema! ;-)

The guys who organised ALL the information in the world and then kept going

I confess to be quite a fan of Google. Very frequently, I get on my friends', family members' and work colleagues' nerves while I engage in long conversations with myself about their many products and advantages until someone, usually very politely -bless you all for putting up with this sick side of me-, help me snap out of it and come back to reality.

I thought it was only fair to start doing it here too.

That is NOT to say that I unconditionally worship their work or co-founders Brin and Page (often called "googlers" in some kind of elaborate and mysteriously disapproving way). I simply recognise that Google does better what others do, or what others have tried to do unsuccessfully before. And I am glad, and very grateful that so much of what they have done so far have benefited everyone with an Internet connection, and not just a wealthy elite.

Still, I will try and balance up Google's good deeds with all those increasingly popular comments that say that Google is failing to live up to its very own philosophy ("Don't be evil"). In fact, to help me illustrate this side of my beloved Google (and again, I guess, to help me snap out of it), my brother recently got me a book that -despite being, sadly, one of the most disastrous cases of translation into Spanish I've ever read- does explore some of the questionable aspects of the company and raises a few interesting questions.

And when I say Google, by the way, I don't mean the popular search engine, which recently celebrated its 10-year birthday, but to the most remarkable technology company of our days. Google is pushing the boundaries of this technology and changing our world in the process.

And whether or not you like their ways, whether you decide to love them or hate them, you must know what they are doing.

More on this soon.

The Spirit

The film that wasn't such.

If you think you can make a film with:

  • A comic-book artist whose graphic style may be something of a legend in his world but has no idea whatsoever about how to direct a film.
  • A couple of rough guidelines scribbled on paper, too weak to even be called story plot.
  • Dialogue lines that, for the most part, try to be clever but come off as ridiculous, absurd and embarrassing to everyone involved in the film and their families. Including yourself for watching it.
  • A female cast dressed up as prostitutes and whose only requirement is too look sexually attractive so that the promotional posters work. Never mind their professional reputation (it's just Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega ... who even knows them anyway?). And don't worry about the actual film, they'll just be given any line we can come up with in the set, nobody will notice.
  • Yet another silly, empty character played by Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be more resolved than ever to flush what is left of his believability down the toilet.

Well, if you do think you can make a film with all this, then you are wrong. They just tried in The Spirit and failed miserably. Whatever this by-product is, it can't even be considered a film.

I personally think that, as his tribute to his admired Will Eisner (the creator of the original character, who is probably turning in his grave since opening day), instead of creating this pointless sequence of events, Frank Miller should have been as humble as to politely say "no, thank you, get an actual director" to the offer. And same with the actors. I can't believe that they actually read the script and didn't just kill their respective agents for getting it in the first place.

Not even the visual aspect can be praised here. Yes, it replicates Miller's style faithfully, but we already saw that in Sin City (oh, no, parts 2 and 3 are coming!) and there was no need of repeating it if there was nothing else to add in any other sense. At no point is there any sign of efforts for making something that the audience might like.

All things considered, The Spirit may be the worst comic-book-based film ever. Apart from an insult to moviegoers.

Yes man

Of course it's a yes.

Some still can't believe that Jim Carrey can indeed perform without resorting to his popular over-acting, and to those faces that have driven so many people insane with killer instinct (me included) in the past. For those as secure in this knowledge as to missing out on true wonders such as The Truman show or Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (script that could never be praised loud enough), using Yes man as therapy for coming back to Carrey's worthy films is a must. Being fair, Yes man is somewhere in the middle (low middle, maybe) between the actor's histrionics and the two modern classics above, but hey, it's a first.

Yes man is a scream to life. For life. Quite a few hilarious moments and memorable comic scenes and characters in this very entertaining feel-good film (yeah, “feel good”, never understood what is wrong with that) may only make you feel better about this complicated but enjoyable adventure of life.

ALSO, Zooey Deschanel (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) is in it. If there is a cuter, more loveable creature in God's Earth, producers have not taken notice yet, or she would be in the film instead. Producers are not idiots.