Why must you punish me, movie gods? I worship at your temple at least once a month, and more often I devote myself to you in the week. I offer forth popcorn to thy sacred carpet, place my extra large Pepsi in thy holy cup holder, and even refrain from using my mobile phone in your hallowed space. Yet one evening, I decide to pay homage to Saint De Niro of Robert and Cardinal Ben Stiller by watching Meet The Parents. This, I thought, would sate your desire to produce another Van Damme feature, and ensure many years of not seeing Yahoo Serious rear his fizzog. So why, O lords of celluloid, WHY have you decided to tarnish this fine comedy with A RANDY F**KING NEWMAN SONG? I can forgive the movie gods, however, as the accursedly bland Newman sings during the intro of this flick, and memories of his puke-inducing tones soon fade. Sweet merciful heavens! ***THE PLOT*** Greg loves Pam. Aah. Greg want to marry Pam. Double aah. Greg finds out he must gain the approval of Pam?s father before he can ask for her hand in marriage. Oh. This in mind, the two of them head to the Byrnes home to... dan dan daaaaaa! MEET THE PARENTS! The end. No, wait. Pam?s dad, Jack Byrnes, is an ex-CIA agent and ?human lie detector?. Panicky Greg puts not just his foot but his entire leg in it. Things keep going wrong, until Greg must take drastic steps to get Jack to like him. * * * * * Basic stuff then. Well, in the hands of say, Sean William Scott as Greg and Robin Williams as the father, this would have been dross. And we might have seen Robin Williams? overly hairy arms again. Get a shave, Williams! But no, Ben Stiller plays Greg, and YES! Robert DeNiro is the father. He puts in a comedic turn better than that his work in The King Of Comedy, with his cat-loving patriarch nearly stealing the show. The show, however, belongs to Stiller, who in all fairness has only two comedic standards ? painfully innocent in bad situation, or SHOUTY ANGRY. He d
oes both here ? way to stretch the range, Stillo (my pet name for him), but it works very well, and he?s never as over the top as in Mystery Men. The main thing that concerned me about this was the bane of the movie fans life. Trailer. This is a comedy that relies on its set pieces, of which there are many. Sadly, some of the key moments were once again given heavy coverage by the trailer. This ruined the mother?s ashes defiling, the water-volleyball skit, and the rooftop destruction hilarity (which smacked of the end of Final Destination ? deliberate? You decide). This is not the time for such petty squabbles, however ? there is still a lot to tickle your ribs. For one, Greg has a rather unusual surname. This movie is VERY close to the bone for a 12 certificate. Greg?s surname, you see, is Focker. ?It?s pronounced as it?s spelled? he says. Just give it a try. Then consider that the Byrnes family are not too close with Greg, and when things go wrong, they keep referring to him as ?Focker?. ?What?s your problem, Focker?? ?Are you an idiot, Focker?? and so on. Unbelievably, this never got stale, although this depends on your tolerance for repetition. Another spanner in the works comes in the form of Kevin, played by Owen Wilson. Kevin is the ex-boyfriend, who the family go to visit as he?s the best man at Pam?s sister?s wedding. I think Owen Wilson is a great supporting actor, and he is as good as Shanghai Noon here, as the carpentry fixated creep. Why carpentry? Well, think of a REALLY famous carpenter. Not Karen. Unbelievably, this joke never gets stale, although this depends on your tolerance for repetition. During Greg?s nightmare stay at the Byrnes home, he also encounters Mr Jinks. Mr Jinks is a prize cat, who has been trained to ?use the potty?, and is jack?s best friend. This little furball is a vital supporting character and really, once you?ve seen the blighter doing its number twos in a people-toilet, you?ll eye your
cat suspiciously every time it leaves the room. Unbelievably, this never gets stale, although this depends on your tolerance for repetition. Still, without a certain amount of pathos, this would wallow in the mire of shallowness, and drag its muddy feet all over your carpet. Writers Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg do succeed in making this just the right side of vomit-inducing, with the same level of genuine feelings as a regular rom-com. There?s a few big gestures and the inevitable ?it?s all okay after all? meeting. It?s the industry standard, I?m not complaining, because it avoids cliché. The one stumbling block for me was the ending. Following the ?all?s well? denouement, there follows a further scene. Fair enough, all is REALLY well. Then comes another one. The final ending comes after THAT, and whilst this final FINAL ending is very amusing, it would have been better used, Austin Powers style, during the credits. And it would have been okay, too, Jay Roach being the director of the Man of Mystery, as well as this suburban knockabout. That said, it does pave the way for the sequel, which is tantalisingly (and hopefully not provisionally) titled ?Meet The Fockers?. Fingers crossed for the studios to use their balls and keep that. The trailer being so much of a laugh-ruiner, I?m loathe to go into too much detail about the plot. Suffice to say that Greg just can?t stop covering his ass with lame excuses and outrageous lies, the best of all being his ?milking? tale. De Niro is top class, and has a neat line in weird comments to threaten his potential son in law with ? ?I will take you down, I will take you down to Chinatown? he warns, suspecting Greg to be a pot-head. This is a little slow to get going, but by the time the male leads get wind of each other?s little schemes, the laughs come thicker than Shaggy (the cartoon one? hmm, then again?) and faster than an excitable teenager?s man-fat expulsion on seeing his first copy o
f The Sunday Sport. A great comedy, not one of the all time greats, but a great way to pass some time, and one that you won?t get sick of easily. Oh, and keep watching after the credits for a hilarious surprise (unbelievably, this never gets stale, although this depends on your tolerance for trickery).
This has to be one of the clearest monitors I have ever had the pleasure of using. It definatly gives the Ilyama pro a run for its money, and in my opinion beats it hands down. The overall design of the monitor is sleek, but with out being 'in your face' or 'boring'. The controls are in my opinion not very direct feeling, but they do offer a lot of control of the picture. They can even adjust for miore and convergence. Another useful feature is the twin inputs that it features, so switching between displays just involves the switch of a switch at the front of the monitor. Now need for two monitors any more! This is a quality product and I would definatly recommend it to anyone looking for a top-notch 19" monitor. J
This is by far and away the best monitor I have used. I started thinking about getting a new monitor after I got a 17? Trinitron FD at the office, which is similar to G400, but smaller. I decided to look for a 19" for my own home use. There are several manufacturers that make flat CRTs for computer monitors, but the major two players are Sony Trinitron FD and Mitsubishi Diamondtron NF. This Sony G400 is what I have finally ended up with after going through several Mitsubishi and Sony monitors. To keep this review easily readable, I will list what I like about this Sony G400 and compare them with other monitors. ----------------------------- Positive: Flat We all know that in the past, most CRTs are slightly curved on the surface. However, once you are used to a flat monitor (or an LCD, which I have one too), you will never want to go back to a curved monitor. The flat surface simply makes working on the computer so much more pleasant and eyes less tired after a while. Crisp I initially tried a 19? Mitsubishi Diamondtron NF, which is also flat and is based on similar, but not completely identical, technology as the Sony Trinitron FD. Because the way these flat CRTs are, it is very hard for the manufacturers to keep both the center of the screen and the edge of the screen crisp and clear. (If you go to a store, try to display an entire screen of text on a flat screen CRT, and then compare the center of the screen to the corners of the screen, you will see what I mean. The center is usually more crisp than the corners.) This difference is true even after extensive adjustments. In any case, I was not very happy with the 19? Mitsubishi Diamondtron NF because the crispness of the center and the corners are just too significantly apart. As such, I returned the Mitsubishi and went with the Sony G400. I have been very happy with this model. If you take a magnifying glass, you can still tell the difference
between the center and the corners, but under normal viewing, you wouldn?t see the difference. Note that again, with any monitor you purchase, some setting adjustments are usually necessary. Two Analog Inputs For whatever reason, the Sony G400 allows two analog input signals. There is a switch at the bottom of the monitor to select which input will be used for display. This is a great design for people who have a desktop at home, but also carry a laptop. You will be able to hook up the laptop and the desktop to the monitor at the same time and switch between the two very easily. This is one of those simple things that provide a very nice touch for those who need it. This is also something that the Mitsubishi Diamondtron NF does not have. For those who do not need this ability, it will just act like a regular monitor. Controls I like its joystick-like control, but I have heard complaints from people saying it is not very easy to use. I think it may take some time to get used to, but once you have used it a few times, it?s actually a very efficient way of adjusting the monitor. TCO ?99 and Very High Resolution I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the G400 and the E400 are different. I even called Sony and the people I talked to could not tell me much other than that G400 supports higher resolution than E400. However, note that you are unlikely to use the highest resolution supported by either monitor anyway. Well, after a lot of research, I found that the G400 is TCO? 99 compliant where as the E400 is not. Without going into too much detail, TCO? 99 is basically a more strict standard regarding different kinds of emissions that CRT produces, as well as some environmental issues related to the manufacturing and disposal of these monitors. Sony seems to be aiming the G400 for corporate users and E400 for consumers because companies are more likely to pay more to have TCO? 99 monitors. (If E400 is TCO? 99 complia
nt, Sony certainly is not advertising that.) I guess whether you are willing to pay the premium to get a G400 instead of E400 is up to you. ----------------------------- Negative: Expensive No kidding. Most places have this monitor for some £400. I was fortunate to get my hands on a new one for just under £300. Still, it?s a significant investment. The Mitsubishi Diamondtron NF ones are slightly cheaper, but still, you do pay a premium for any flat screen CRT monitors, and with the Sony brand, you would have to pay even more. Heavy This monitor is heavy. You would have to move it carefully to not to hurt yourself, and I am no joking when I say this. It?s not larger than a typical monitor, but it is indeed very heavy. ----------------------------- Final Thought If you work a lot on the computer or play games, this monitor is well worth the money. It is crisp, flat, and just much easier on the eyes than any other CRT monitors I have used.