Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Just watched “Slumdog Millionaire“.  It’s been just a few minutes, and I am still under impression and all, but I will still call it a brilliant masterpiece.  Beautiful film on so many levels!  Perhaps it’s a bit too sad and dramatic for some, and too unrealistic for the others, and even to “indian” for someone else.  But I didn’t notice any of that.  Very balanced, original, and extremely well executed.

10 out of 10 from me.

Marley & Me

Marley and Me

The other day I went to the cinema to see an action movie.  But for some reason, cinema management decided to swap the times and I ended up in a totally different film, one that I didn’t really want to see, but which was a better home than to return home – “Marley & Me“.  By the way, the poster at the cinema is different from the image above.  Poster shows Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, and a little puppy.  If it was only for the puppy, I’d have gone home.

Now that I’ve seen the film, I am actually glad that I didn’t go home that day.  It was totally worth it.  Yes, it had bits and pieces of your stereotypical romantic comedy and all the bits and pieces of a pet movie, but it had more than that.  Firstly, there were parts that were really funny.  And then there were parts which were really sad (even though, I have to admit, that I didn’t drop a single tear, not very usual).  But the best part, if you ask me, is how the family life was shown.  Particularly, married life, with kids.  When moods swing, things change, but the main stays.  And also how close sometimes a family gets to falling apart, and how it’s only a tiny little bit of patience that decides if it will stay together or break.  I’ve seen many movies that tried to show this, but it was the first time that I’ve actually seen it done.

Overall, I’ll give it a 7 out of 10.  It’s entertaining, emotional, and has a few things to think about.  Good movie.

Photo toolbox refreshed

Leonid Mamchenkov

I finally saved enough courage to order some more stuff for my photo toolbox.  It’s been a really long while (more than a couple of years) that I wanted to get a new lense, which would have a wider angle view than anything that already have, and a proper flash unit.  And here I am, a proud owner of Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L USM lense and a Canon 430 EX II Speedlight flash, plus a bunch of new batteries, filters, hoods, and such.

As with any other new gadgets, there is a lot to read, learn, and try.  But I am already happy with how it fits and how it works.  Above you can see a self-portrait, practically the second image I took in almost fully automatic mode.  Georgeous!  This picture has all chances of becoming my new avatar or something.  And, of course, a few more images were uploaded to my Flickr photostream.  More to come.

Yes Man

Yes Man

Yesterday I saw “Yes Man” in the movies.  I remember thinking that it should be a funny but pretty average film back when seeing the trailer.  So I wasn’t expecting much of it.  Due to the lack of options, decided to go see it anyway.

I have to say that I enjoyed it more than average.  It was very kind, positive, and funny.  Of course, it was a little bit sad, as is usual with Jim Carrey movies.  But overall it was pretty good.  Much better than expected.  I don’t know if it was a combination of the film and my own mood, but by now I don’t even care.  I laughed outloud a few times and that rarely has to do with my mood.

Grab it on DVD or see it at the movies – you’ll equally enjoy it.  7 out of 10.

The International

The International

Yesterday I went to see “The International“.  It’s not an outstanding movie in any way, but a well executed film in one of the genres that I happen to enjoy – conspiracy.  (I’m not even sure that it’s a genre on its own)

Here you’ve got everything a good conspiracy movie should have – special agents, huge financial organizations, corruption, lots of assassignations, and a few good guys who are ready to do anything for justice.  And, as always, they need to get bad for a greater good.  All of that was mixed with gun fights, chases, good camera work, and some special effects.  And it had Clive Owen in it.  But the problem was that this film didn’t have anything (or not much at least) of original stuff.  It was very much cliche.

Recommended for the fans of the genre.  An overall of 7 out of 10.

Watchmen

Watchmen

Watchmen” turned out to be quite a disappointment for me personally.  Maybe that’s because I am not much into comics and maybe because I don’t know who watchmen are and how they came about.  But still…

The poster was sort of speaking for itself, and film’s opening credits were pretty cool.  It started pretty well.  But then it went into a totally different direction.  Instead of being your regular comics-based story with a bunch of good and bad guys, and a fight between them, this time it was all about the psychology and drama of a superhero.  There were quite a few superheros, who, for some reason, didn’t seem to be really superheros, but rather a bunch of guys in weird costumes.  They didn’t do anything superheroic, didn’t have any tricks up their sleeves, didn’t care much about anything else.

The visual effects were excellent, but with no base for those effects, no action, they started to grow pretty boring.  And the film went on and on and on (almost 3 hours), and by the time of it I myself was almost falling asleep.  I pulled it through, but barely.

If you are into superheros and everything that surrounds them, then you’ll probably enjoy this film.  For me though it was somewhere on the scale of 3 out of 10.

Killshot

Killshot

The other day I went to see “Killshot“.  Enjoyed it quite a bit.  It’s not the movie that you’d want to buy on DVD and see a few times, or be much interested in the “making of …”.  But it makes for a good movie time in the cinema.

The film is an interesting mix of crime and drama.  Crime movies are well known for the “easy kills”, where people die during the course of the film with audience not paying much attention to it.  Every dead person is just an obstacle on the way – gone when dead.  In “Killshot” it’s different.  People, both good and bad, have lives, have their own ways to live them, solve their own problems.  And they all of them get into this situations where they don’t necessarily want to be.  And those situation change them, affect the way they live their lives…

It’s nice to see Mikky Rourke on the big screen again.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt played really well too.  The rest tried but dialogues were a bit setting them off.

Overall, a 7 out of 10.

WRC 2009 – FxPro Cyprus Rally : SS6

Fxpro Cyprus Rally Wilson

Yesterday I went to see WRC 2009 FxPro Cyprus Rally Special Stage 6.  It’s a 30 km long stage, which pass by the famous Kelefos Bridge.  Usually it’s packed with spectators, and once the stage was even cancelled because the proper safety level could not have been achived.   Instead of watching the rally at the Kelefos Bridge view point, we went to the Finish of the stage and walked down a few turns from there.  It was an asphalt road with a few patches of gravel.   Weather conditions weren’t the best from the spectators’ point of view – cold, windy, with occasional rain drops.  But that could not have stopped true rally fans.

As always, I made a few pictures and uploaded them to my Flickr photostream.

WRC 2009 – FxPro Cyprus Rally : Open ceremony

FxPro Girl

Yesterday I attended the official opening ceremony of the WRC 2009 FxPro Cyprus Rally.  It was a pretty big event with TV coverage, cars passing the podium, FxPro girls, and a concert of Sakis Rouvas – some kind of Eurovision star.

I didn’t take any good pictures, but the FxPro press center were kind enough to share.  Click here to see more.

The surprise of the evening was that FxPro is not only sponsoring the Cyprus Rally, but also an FxPro Rally Team.

FxPro Rally Car

Disclaimer : FxPro is trade mark of EuroOrient Securities and Financial Services Ltd, the company that I work for.

WRC 2009 – FxPro Cyprus Rally : Shakedown

Fxpro Cyprus Rally Shakedown

This year, World Rally Championship is back to Cyprus after a long break.  I’ve been at the shakedown stage today and made quite a few pictures.

There are much less teams this year due to tough financial times, but those people who I wanted to see – Sebastian Loeb and Peter Solberg are here.  Solberg represents his own team and drives Citroen instead of his usual Subaru Impreza.  Subaru World Rally Team has a new car for this season, which is a hatchback.  If I remember correctly, they are the last major team to switch to hatchbacks.  Pity, as these small cars are not as impressive as the larger ones.

Tomorrow the special stages start.  They are further away than in previous years, and further apart, but should be fun to watch.  Tickets are 5 EUR per stage or 20 EUR (not completely sure) for the pass to all stages. Don’t forget to grab some warm clothes for the mountain stages as it is pretty called up there.