Archive | August, 2008

Sex And The City: The Movie or How To Destroy 6 Seasons in 148 Minutes.

Marriage makes you do things you never thought you’d do. Like watching TV series such as Sex And The City or Desperate Housewives. But, as it is normal in a relationship, you compromise. My wife watches testosterone filled action movies with me every once in a while and I watch female movies that make me want to rip my eyes and ears out in return.

But I’d be lying if I’d say that I didn’t enjoy Sex And The City.

10 minutes or so into the first episode of the very first season, I was tempted to stand up and throw myself out of the window. But as we continued with the second and third episode, I slowly started to like it and to got rid of my hate. If you look over the boring fashion stuff in the series – as a man, of course – it’s quite an interesting show with more and more deep characters. And you can learn oh so much about women, seriously, it’s helpful.

Sex And The City Over the seasons, all the characters are faced with realistic problems and their friendship gets them through it. While it’s sometimes too american with all the emotions and stuff, it keeps on getting better and bigger, introducing more and more characters and poking fun at a lot of things. One episode, where Carrie has to fix her Mac even got me laughing real hard… Well done.

So, when the DVD with the movie finally got out in Shanghai two days ago, I immediately bought it and watched it that very same night with my wife, who had been looking forward to see it since I teased her with the first released trailer.

During the opening credits, I already got a bad feeling. They actually tried to introduce the most important characters of the show in two minutes or so, showing some snapshots of the seasons – but not really telling anything at all. You got the names, alright. But try to explain Samantha in 25 seconds. Her character is way too complex to be explained in that short amount of time. Or the hardships that Charlotte or Miranda went through in those six great seasons.

Wouldn’t it have been better to just say nothing, so that people who don’t know the series at all can build their own idea of them?

And then, this dump of a story started. Carrie wants to marry Mister Big, Mister Big wants to marry Carrie… And on the wedding day, Mr. Big doesn’t get out of his car? And Carrie leaves him? Huh? What did just happen?

Right there, after that scene, we should have taken the DVD out and burned it on the spot. But we didn’t, we continued to watch the movie and watched how it destroyed all the things the series build up in such a long time. Now it is one thing to have a bad story. But to change characters completely to get some dramatic story line going is just way out of borders. It’s not fair towards the fans.

Why in the hell would Mr. Big not get out of the car? The whole series, he has been the one chasing Carrie, he was the one who always knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Carrie would maybe not get out of the car, but Mister Big? Are you kidding me?

Well, from then on, everything felt fake. And characters like Harry, who were really cool in the series, were completely left out and got like 5 scenes totally. What the hell. But I guess to show a horny dog eff the hell out of pillows is funnier.

But the very worst of it all is that they actually pulled off to show the ending of the movie, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen this year so far. I wont spoil it, but damn, Hollywood. It’s an insult to anyone with a IQ over 50.

Director and writer Michael Patrick King really managed to mess everything up in 148 minutes. It’s a mystery to me why they accepted this screenplay in the first place and why they didn’t let Darren Star, the TV series writer, edit it. But I guess all the brands featured in the movie payed really well and none of the actors are getting any younger…

Let’s just hope they don’t make a second movie, as the rumors tell…

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Olympia: Opening Ceremony images faked?!

Wow, this is pretty interesting.

Jetzt fand die Zeitung “Beijing Shibao” doch noch das Haar in der Suppe: Das Feuerwerk, diese Kunstform mit so großer Tradition in China, war gefälscht. Zumindest ein Teil davon. Ein Angestellter der Video-Produktionsfirma “Shui Jing Shi” gab gegenüber dem Blatt zu, dass man einen Teil der spektakulären Feuerwerke zuvor aufgezeichnet und in die weltweiten Live-Übertragungen eingespielt habe. Es handelt sich dabei um die Bilder von den “Fußabdrücken” im Himmel über der Stadt, die sich vom Stadtteil Yongdingmen südlich des Stadtzentrums auf das Stadion im Norden “zubewegten”. Mehr als ein Jahr lang seien diese Sequenzen mit Computeranimation vorbereitet worden. Nur die Übertragung des letzten der 29 Fußstapfen sei live gewesen, wie der Video-Mitarbeiter Gao Xiaolong der Zeitung berichtete. Die Zahl 29 stand dabei für die Tatsache, dass die Olympischen Spiele der Neuzeit zum 29. Mal stattfinden.

That’s a quote from the magazine “Spiegel” in Germany.

Translation:

The chinese newspaper “Beijing Shibao” found out, that part of the TV images from the opening ceremony were fake: The part, where footsteps in form of fireworks walk towards the stadium have been animated at least a year in advance, the magazine was told by an employee named Gao Xiaolong from the video production company “Shui Jing Shi”. Only the last footsteps were real. As to why they did this, Gao stated, that it would have been too difficult to shoot this live. He said, if you look closely, you can see that the video beginning was brighter then the live ending.

Whatever. I liked the show, anyway.

The magazine also points out that Xinhua released an statement that 40 billion people watched the opening ceremony on TV, which is quite a number, given the fact that there are currently 6.7 billion people on earth totally.

And NBC has to deal with anger from the american citizens: They edited the entrance of the american sport stars towards the end so that the people would watch their station longer. Haha.

We got some tickets for a soccer game in Shanghai on Wednesday. That’ll be my little Olympia experience.

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New HDR’s.

It’s been a long time since I last posted some of my images here. I’m trying to upload at least 5 new works every week to flickr, but recently I’ve fallen a bit behind – there’s much business stuff going on at the moment and I’ve to take care of a visiting family member, too.

But I managed to squeeze in some time here and there for some new pics in the last weeks and here they are! Enjoy.

Beijing: CCTV Monster.

This is the new CCTV building in Beijing. It was supposed to be finished before the Olympics but that didn’t work out too well. So now they try to finish it by 2009, as far as I know.

Here are some shots that I took in Parma, while visiting my sister. They are some months old, but I never got around until recently to edit the hell out of them. Parma is a nice little city, these were taken downtown. The food there, especially the bacon and cheese, are uber delicious.

Parma.

Parma.

Parma: Culture.

Parma: Strada del Cafe.

Parma: Orange.

My sister got a new dog just two weeks before we arrived… She’s such a cutie, so here are three images from Agatha.

Exhausted.

Kind Eyes.

Free.

Last picture from Europe: Switzerland. We went by train from Heidelberg to Basel, then from there to the Como lake to visit my grandparents for a couple of days. Then we went from Como to Parma and stayed at my sisters for a night. Then we went by train from Parma to Bologna, then from there back north to Levico. Boy, that was a trip, and the horrible italian railway didn’t make it any better.

Fun fact: My wife got into Switzerland illegally. When changing trains at Basel, we got off at the wrong Basel station – Basel Bf, not Basel SBB – and had to enter the swiss Basel by kind of a subway. There was not passport control, of course… But when we entered Italy and they checked my wife’s passport, they were a bit pissed and told us, that they have the option to send us back now. Gladly they didn’t do it, but we decided to travel back to Germany with a train via Austria, which really is in the european union. Damn Switzerland!

Switzerland.

And now some China images. Shanghai, of course. It’s been a really, really hot summer so far, and working without air conditioning is not possible at all. We even run the A/C at night to get a good sleep. I wonder how people without air condition survive this heat.

Shanghai: 30th floor view.

I shot above image out of a window from the 30th floor in our office building. I got the sweet Nikkor 80 – 200 millimeter lens from my grandmother, who now shoots with Canon. It’s a really good, sharp lens. Shanghaiist featured this image with the caption “The Concrete Jungle” when I released it on Yahoo’s flickr.

Shanghaian Summernight.

The full moon was really bright some days ago, I tried to capture that with a long exposure.

We Are The Night.

I titled this image “We Are The Night” because I like The Chemical Brothers’ music a lot and because XuHui really is a night-active place.

XuHui.

Believe it or not, this is what you see at night when you look out of my toilet window. It rocks to live in the 18th floor.

The last picture of today. I’ll just quote what I wrote on flickr for this image:

We were looking for a new apartment some months ago, and one apartment these dumbasses from a housing agency introduced to us was directly next to a future Expo site, where lots of people were bringing trash away. Needless to say, we did not want to live next to a construction site and looked for a new apartment agent directly afterwards.

Cleaning For The Shanghai Expo 2010.

And that’s it for today this week. Hope you enjoyed my newest pieces!

And let me tease you a bit: Big news coming soon. Really big. Wait for it…

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Shanghai crippled by Olympia.

My brother’s in town during his summer vacation, and that was reason enough to visit a fake market yesterday. He wants to stock up on some nice things. We went to the nearest one on Nanjing road, but were shocked to learn that Olympia has reached even to there. No watches available. No DVD’s. No fake iPhones. Nada.

Of course, they have insane amounts of faked T-Shirts and other cheap stuff, but it felt liked a half-hearted fake market. And the shop keepers seemed kind of silent – I was asked to ‘looky looky’ only three times, and we spend almost an hour there. Weird. Really weird. And police! We passed police guys like three or four times. The security seems rather strong there at the moment, too.

So we only bought half of what we wanted, we didn’t find any fake Nike shoes (what!), only these fugly Crocs everywhere and 90’s Converse sneakers. Back to the future, baby. I wonder what the shopkeepers eat during Olympia, their income will probably be pretty low.

Then we went to two different DVD stores, while I really want that new Angelina Jolie movie WANTED my brother wanted some TV-series. WANTED is out on the net as a downloadable DVD image, so I was pretty sure that the stores would have a DVD-9 already. Wrong.

They told me that until after Olympia, there will be no new movies arriving. None.

And last week, I went to a pharmacy to buy some stomach ache fighting medicine for my wife which I had bought there before, only to learn that you now need to go to the hospital to buy certain kinds of medication – ‘until Olympia is finished’.

Damn. I never thought that this 800 kilometer far away event would ever really ‘touch’ my life in some way. But it does. Not in a good way.

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