Thursday, May 08, 2008

Review Day

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:
The only people that will go see this movie are the people who saw and enjoyed the first movie, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and it does a pretty good job of providing exactly what you'd expect. The number of gross-out jokes is higher and the continuity is lower, but overall it's good for an hour and a half of laughs. Wait for the video.

Final Grade: B

The Darjeeling Limited:
I should have been warned by the fact that this was made by the same creator as Life Aquatic and Royal Tenebaums, but we forged ahead and rented it anyhow. It has Owen Wilson in it, so at the least, it should be Owenwilsony, right? We turned it off after 60 minutes, because it felt like 90 minutes had passed and the end was nowhere near. If you liked those other movies, you'll get more of the same here.

Final Grade: F

Rick Steves Civita Day Pack:
Though I cringed at being a walking billboard for the Rick Steves empire, this is the bag we used in Europe for all our daily activities (leaving the bigger bags in the hotels). We were surprisingly impressed by the quality to price ratio -- the bag only costs $20 and is made of soft, sturdy material that's very comfortable on the back. It's quite roomy, easily holding two guidebooks, two giant waterbottles in its side pouches, and eight thousand sweaters so Rebecca wouldn't be cold. The only caveat: there's no internal frame, so bring along a sturdy piece of cardboard or some folders to maintain the shape of the bag against your back. Otherwise, it starts getting lumpy as the day goes by.

Final Grade: A

International Spy Museum:
For my mom's twentieth birthday, we went to the International Spy Museum in DC. The museum begins with a small-group guided mission, where an actor leads you through a scenario straight out of Alias or 24, and you use spy gadgets and old-fashioned Hemlock Overlook teamwork to solve a spy mystery. This portion has high production values, complete with fake descending elevators and rooms that bounce like the back of a delivery truck. You will enjoy it plenty more if you're willing to work with other tourists who you may not have met before the tour.

After the mission, you are dumped into the massive at-your-own-pace Museum area, which is gigantic, and exactly the way a museum should be. There's a good balance of interesting things to read, touch, listen to, and admire, covering the history and gadgetry of spying from the Romans to the Cold War. At various points, there are movies so you can rest your feet, or computers with games like "Spot the Spy". This may also be the only place on Earth where you can see the display of a "rectal lockpicking kit" to get spies out of jail. No word on whether it was actually used or just a floor model.

The museum will take a good two hours to enjoy, although you will probably get saturated with new info by the three-quarters mark. Highly recommended.

Final Grade: A

Austrian rugby strip show caught on Lithuania video
Students claim police chief who shot himself was careless
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