Archive > November 2003

Kill Bill

07 November 2003 » In Movies, Reviews » 12 Comments

Last night I was in the mood to see an action flick. So it was between the latest Matrix installment and Kill Bill Volume 1. I am so glad I picked the latter.
“Kill Bill”, announced in the opening titles as “The 4th Film by Quentin Tarantino”, is a quintessential “revenge through martial arts” film that is all style and no substance. And that is what makes it good, along with a few other things. Tarantino manages to make us forget that the storyline is basically heroine going through the laundry list of her enemies and killing them one by one (or 88 at once in an extended scene). The movie can be easily dismissed by some as a gory, violent, purposeless imitation of the kung-fu flicks, but seen from another angle it is a beautiful homage to, and at the same time a parody of, the same genre. Tarantino has always been adept at blending black humour, action, unique characters, non-linear progression, and memorable dialogue, all spiced up by perfectly fitting soundtrack, and this effort is no exception. I was thrilled that “Lonely Shepherd” by James Last and Zamfir was picked as the movie’s theme and the melody works wonders there.
A good movie will have its scenes invading your mind for a long time after you see it. “Kill Bill” certainly does that for me. Now, I just need to wait for Volume 2.


03 November 2003 » In Work » 5 Comments

Last week I made an urgent visit to LA in order to secure a British visa for my upcoming business trip. I drove down (don’t ask) on Thursday night, got the visa on Friday, and spent some time at the Santa Monica Yahoo! LAUNCH office where Michael Radwin also works. I must say that I liked the layout and atmosphere there much better than at the Sunnyvale one, which tends to be more corporate and sterile. LAUNCH office has a feeling of dot-com era emphasized by funky cubicles, exposed brick walls, and nooks and crannies full of old promotional materials.
But the coolest thing about my visit was getting a tour of the recording studio and the media library. Ian Dittbrenner, the senior audio producer, grabbed Michael and me while we were walking around and launched into a very entertaining description of what the studio is for. All kinds of music stars come down to the office to record interviews, performances, and these get broadcast on LAUNCH. This explains the presence of the blue screen on the stage.. The walls of the studio hallway and the recording room are covered with guitars donated by the stars and signed by them, including Led Zeppelin, Jewel, 50 Cents, Poison, and many others. If I came a day earlier, I could have seen Ludacris taping a show, apparently. Some Yahoo! execs were in last week and watched Blink 182 pull the pants off each other. Hmm, I should visit LA office more often.
Normally, the media library is off limits, but somehow we were able to sneak in. This is where all the tapes and recordings that LAUNCH made are stored, in a climate controlled environment. But that’s not all. There are also over 1 million CDs kept in huge, rail-mounted racks. I really wanted to get my fingers into that collection, but there is some sort of silly rule about not letting employees check out CDs. Oh well, there’s always the Internet.

Perfect age

03 November 2003 » In Me » 1 Comment

I turned 27 yesterday. According to USA Today, most people under 30 would choose this as the perfect age if they could freeze their aging process. What can I say, it feels great so far.
The older you get the less you care about making the once all important b-day special. I mainly chilled out at the coffee shop, reading a Terry Pratchett book, and later on went with a couple of co-workers for a dinner at Steamer’s in Los Gatos followed by seeing Lost in Translation. A very nice, small, sweet movie that felt perfectly suited to the night.