New car … again

February 10th, 2008
I recently exchanged my car because the radio could not read CDs, and the oil life was almost at 10%. So I got this Malibu V6:

img_8694.JPG

img_8695.JPG

The car is ok, but it came with a slight annoying feature: Whenever I use any electronic device, such as the turn signal, the window or the lights, the dashboard seems to “reset” and this is what it looks like:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

I activate the left turn signal, and then it happens. It’s only a few seconds, but it can get pretty annoying, especially when the turn signal does not work during that reset phase. Who knows if other electronic equipment is disabled aswell during this, like the airbag system ?

Anyway, I’ll probably get a new car next week. I’ll soon be known as “the intern who has tried almost all the cars from the car rental” :D


Off Topic

February 8th, 2008
Today, the most amazing violonist ever. Unlike Paganini, this is actually technical and beautiful at the same time :D (well, except the caprices 16 and 24). Enjoy Itzhak Perlman playing Bazzini !

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


Cloverfield

February 4th, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, we went to the movies to see Cloverfield. With a plot line as follows, I had to see this : “The film follows five young New Yorkers who throw their friend a going-away party on the same night that a gigantic monster attacks the city.” As I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, I decided to write a short review on my own.

poster1.jpg

Anyway, the movie is rather short (about 84 minutes), and has been filmed just like The Blair Witch project and it’s over-the-shoulder camera-view. That way, it looks rather amateurish and It definitely enhances the level of immersion for the viewers. Some said it could make one sick after a while, but I did not think so. Ok it is very fast and shaky, but that way one could better feel what the characters are feeling during the movie.

The movie is very spectacular, and the special effects look almost real, and in an odd way, the surreal situation is rendered very plausible. The monster itself is partially shown several times, and in the end it is completely visible. The overall dark atmosphere is tense and oppressive, and you don’t really know what is going on as you witness the story as a simple and normal person would do. Therefore the end is sudden, and very special in its own way: In a normal movie you would expect an explanation for the whole monster thing and it’s whereabouts. But in Cloverfield, there is nothing. Suddenly, it’s over and you know nothing more than any character in the movie. At first, this is rather disappointing because it’s not a typical ending and you want to know more. It’s even worse than the ending of the Blair Witch project, because in Cloverfield you did actually see the monster and you know what you are dealing with (at least, you know more about the monster than about the witch). So at the end, you can’t help having the impression that something is missing to this movie.

But after a while, I finally came to the conclusion that I enjoyed this movie as it is after all. I instinctively drew a parallel between the events happening in the movie and the attacks of 9/11. Let me explain: One huge catastrophe occurs in NYC and no one was prepared for it. No one knew where it came from and what was going to happen during the panic phase. Take this scenario, and make a movie about what a normal person would witness that particular day and how this person (or in this case a group of persons) would react and cope with this crisis. So there are no real heroes, and this feeling of helplessness is perfectly brought forward. Even the government is overwhelmed and did not expect this happening at all (well, we will never know if they did when the attacks of 9/11 were carried out !).

The only thing we know, is that something huge happened, and that it is very dangerous. No one has answers, everyone is scared and panic is breaking out in several areas. Looters are shamelessly stealing stuff, the army is called for help and buildings collapse as a gigantic unknown force devastates the streets of NYC. The combat scenes are breathtaking, even if I would have enjoyed it if they were more numerous.

At the end, something happens in the city (don’t worry, no spoilers here), and the main character cannot do anything about it. That way, the movie ends and the viewers can only speculate about what really happened. No one knows what decisions have been made by the government. It seems that there were multiple hidden hints during the whole movie, but with this first person perspective and the image shaking all the time, it’s almost impossible to see absolutely everything on the screen at any given moment. That’s why I will definitely watch it again as soon as it is available in DVD :)

I would recommend this movie, and rumor has it that a second part is planned … which may be a good thing for thos who really want to know the truth, but on the other hand it might compromise the whole “being-only-a-witness” aspect I described earlier and which made this movie unique. Let’s wait and see !

Take a look at the trailer: http://www.cloverfieldmovie.com/ !


Off Topic

February 3rd, 2008
I came across this rather special version of “Für Elise” … I’m usually not really into jazz, but this one is very good in my opinion :)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


Pajama Party !

February 2nd, 2008
Flo decided to shorten his internship for personal reasons, and therefore we had to make a farewell party. It was also Ulrich’s farewell. The theme was a pajama party, and the Washington road folks did a great job decorating the house for the evening. Mattresses were everywhere, a comfortable sofa was there and the TV turned into a fireplace with a special chimney DVD ! Oh and they had a Smoke machine, Ulrich brought a chocolate fondue set, and lots of alcohol were left from the last cocktail party. How better could this party get ?

img_8561.JPG

img_2783.JPG

img_8609.JPG

img_2797.JPG

img_2856.JPG

With Adrien and Mika, we decided to wear the most ridiculous pajamas in order to draw everybody’s attention to us. I got me a nice blue chamber robe Under the influence of (lots of) alcohol, Mika became definitely the king of the evening when he showed his back-to-the-70’s style pants. The word “shame” got redefined that evening, especially for Mika ! We had a lot of fun. To my surprise, an Indian named Vishal was wearing the same playboy pants as me, check out the pictures !

img_2786.JPG

img_2863.JPG

img_8579.JPG

Some had really good ideas, like Samuele who came dressed as a baby :D Once again, the Washington road house was very crowded, and I have the feeling that each party is better than the last one ! Can’t wait for the next one, it will be a beach party, and it will also be the farewell party for Adrien, Mika and Morgane who will return to france, resuming their studies. Jep, time flies …