Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

January 2, 2010 in Movie Reviews by pacejmiller

I admit I don’t know a whole lot about the Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I may have read a few story books or seen a couple of TV shows about the super sleuth as a child, but on the whole my memory is pretty fuzzy.

Accordingly, when I watched the new film Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie, I didn’t have a pre-conceived notion of how the character was supposed to behave.  I understand a lot of old school fans may be quite appalled at the way Sir Conan’s creation has been butchered in this ‘re-invention’ (in the same way I was devastated with what Hollywood did with Astro Boy), but I didn’t have such a problem.

With that in mind, I quite liked it!  That’s saying a lot because I haven’t liked a Guy Ritchie film since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (and I didn’t even like that very much).

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Taipei Adventure – An Overview

January 2, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

The sensational Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei...for the record this photo was too nice to have been taken by me

I’ve been in Taipei for a whole week now, but have yet to put up any posts about it yet.

Too busy – too much to do, too much to buy, too much to eat!

I thought I would kick things off with a quick overview.  Taipei is the capital of Taiwan (otherwise known as the Republic of China).  Taipei has a metropolitan population of over 10 million, despite it being a pretty small place.

Walking around the streets of Taipei, it’s hard not to recognise what an amazing place it is.  The skies appear to be perpetually grey.  There is literally food and shops along every narrow street and at every corner.  People, cars and scooters everywhere, at all hours of the day.  The public transport system is phenomenal, with buses, trains, a convenient metro system (some of which are linked by underground walkways lined with shops), and when all else fails, a plethora of yellow taxis.  Various shopping districts, department stores and night markets littered throughout make Taipei a difficult city to stand still in.

There’s also an uglier side to Taipei.  The people are emotionally charged when it comes to politics (yes, those videos you’ve seen of politicians pulling hair and scratching each other in parliament).  There are amputated and disabled people begging on the streets while others pass them by without batting an eyelid.  The back streets are filled with dog crap landmines and homeless animals.  And worst of all, bizarre, putrid odours seem to pop out of nowhere when you least expect it (eg when taking deep breaths!).

Anyway, I’m going to start diligently preparing some posts on Taipei very shortly – mainly on the delicious food, but also a few on the wonderful shopping.  I’m going to create a special ‘Taiwan’ sub-category under ‘Travel’ for these posts.  If there are enough posts (and I think there are), I’ll create a special page with an index.  Keep your eyes peeled!