Friday, November 04, 2011

Day 2: Rain and Pretty Girls

Flight to Frankfurt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)

The flight was uneventful, though about forty minutes before landing they announced that there was a medical emergency on board and we should remain in our seats and keep the aisle clear. The movie was Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

I hate to give bad reviews; I give so many of them, you wouldn't know it.  I recognize that years of effort and millions of dollars go into these movies, just like the great amounts of effort and money that go into the games I knock. These are somebody's babies. But I also know that there are thousands of movies and games, and people need to hear honest opinions about what's out there. I know I do; I rely on it. So, though it pains me, I can't say that I recommend the movie.

The effects were good and the story was ok. The apes reminded me very much of Jackson's King Kong. Like the Star Wars prequels, the plot of this movie lead to an inevitable conclusion, occasionally at the expense of those who don't know the original.

One of the characters shouts the famous line from the original "Get your filthy hands off me you damn dirty ape!" and that's fine even if you don't know it's a classic line from the original. On the other hand, some background noise about a Mars mission was distracting and meaningless to me while I was watching it; only after the movie was over did I realize that this was supposed to be the lost mission from the original movie.

The human characters are painfully one-dimensional; in the case of the protagonist and his girlfriend, this drags down the movie down into b-movie mediocrity. The story takes a long time to get going; this is not always a bad thing. But here, combined with the predictability of nearly every twist and the one-dimensionality of the characters, I got impatient.

Throw in the usual problematic science effects:
  • instant medical effects that should take much longer (expose the ape to IQ enhancement drugs during the afternoon and by nighttime they can work complex machinery they haven't seen)
  • a misrepresentation of how those effects should manifest
  • unbelievably perfect communication and memory among apes who were animals just hours before (and forgetting that all those other apes, that they freed from the zoo/lab, etc, never had exposure to the drugs and should still be acting like apes)
  • storm-trooper like behavior and aim of the police, etc
  • and other oddities (what were all those apes eating this whole time? who designs cages like that?)
and you end up with mediocrity. Good effects, followable story, some basic allegories about slavery and self-determination, but mediocre nonetheless. The movie might have been better as a ten minute intro to another movie.


I had to walk two kilometers through Frankfurt airport to get to my connecting flight. The airport is devoid of local flavor; it's expensive luxury items and newspapers. I wasn't impressed.

The guy checking people in on the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Dublin had some unusual tattoos on his wrist, the names of his wife and children.

I don't know: a Jew in Germany with a voluntary tattoo on his arm makes me uneasy ... moving on ...

Dublin Daytime

Dublin is surprisingly warm; I don't need my winter coat. This morning I made my way by bus to St Stephens greem, a lovely spot (it's the trees that do it: they make you feel cut off from the city) with a pond and ducks etc.

I sat down for breakfast and was swarmed with pigeons like something out of Hitchcock.

The sky is gray, and I imagine that that's often the case; the sun peeked out in the afternoon. It's easy to see how people in this climate yearn for the sun. It's not the gray or rain that bothers me, however; it's the damp. Everything gets damp, even under my poncho, and it stays damp.

I walked along some unimpressive expensive shopping district.

Perhaps the most distinctive element here is the number of people paid to hold advertising signs. Nothing impressive about the stores during the daytime.

Against all of my beliefs, I ended up taking a city tour bus: 16 EUR and you can hop on and off for two days. It helped me get my bearings. After driving around, I began to make some sense of the geography in my brain. I guess you shouldn't really need it, if you study the city map before coming.

I tried to go to IMMA (Ireland Museum of Modern Art), but it was closed. The cafe and bookshop were open. I passed by the literary and theater district and picked up a ticket for a play next Thursday. I got sneakers.

Dublin Nighttime

I went home to sleep and then went out to find the only kosher restaurant, open only on Thursday evenings and located behind the synagogue. Unfortunately, owing to a conflicting event, it was also closed. Still, I got to meet some Jews at the synagogue, which is always comforting when I'm among strangers.

I went back downtown to find music. And that's what's great about Dublin: music (and Guinness and Jameson's, to those who like that kind of stuff).

It was so easy to find live traditional Irish music. I stopped at one of the first pubs I saw and had a fantastic evening. I drank a ginger beer (alcoholic here, though they were non-alcoholic in Scotland).

I also met two beautiful women. One of them in particular I thought fetching. I sat next to her and told her she was beautiful, and then later I asked her to dance with me to the music, and she was happy to dance with me. Any guesses as to which one?

Too bad they're too young for me, even if they were Jewish. They are from France, also on holiday. The one I didn't choose spoke almost no English; the other one just enough to understand me when I asked her to dance.

1 comment:

Count Zero said...

Ah Jameson and Guinness, two perfect drinks from Ireland. You can visit both of them and see how they are made, the Jameson distillery is in Cork and worth a visit if you are in the area.
Alcoholic ginger beer is making a come back, Crabbies has taken on like a storm and is very drinkable. You should still be able to find a non-alcoholic one, but it won't taste as good.