Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Air Travel 2000: Packed like flesh in a can

Seriously, does anyone like traveling by air these days? Flying was once classified as pure deluxe, with free meals, all-inclusive plane tickets and actual customer service with a smile. Long lines to the airport security screening to prove one´s innocence (Look! I´m not wearing shoes and I´m humiliated in many ways in front of strangers! Cannot be a terrorist!) were unheard of. And you could easily throw that perfume, vodka, absinthe and glide lotion into your hand baggage and walk through the gates without being harassed like a petty criminal. Not that I´m speaking of any of my past traveling escapades. This is just late night theorizing. Honestly.

So the fast-growing pyramid of extra fees just got higher last week. The "low-cost" American airline Spirit introduced fees for hand baggage. So now you cannot even go and try to cram all your life into that tiny carry-all without being sucked dry as a hard-working consumer. Let´s not get mistaken, people: there is absolutely nothing remotely relaxing or "deluxe" in being an air passenger these days. Well, maybe for first class customers (or for those lucky ones with their own private jets).

In an effort to save cash, I fell for those "always cheap" airline companies recently (The name starts with an "R". Need further hints?). There is something seriously wrong with pricing when most of the end total comes from added fees. And if that wasn´t enough, they made me pay extra baggage fee (40 eur) for the bottle of liquor I purchased at the airport. When did duty-free purchases become extra baggage?I was agitated, to say the least. After that, they inquired whether I am truly old enough to sit by the emergency exit. The minimum age is 18. I suppose anger suits me, if I am not mistaken?

Well, to cut the almost unnecessary personal ranting short, I will get to the point at hand. At last!
Have you thought of the layout of the planes and what it resembles? How tightly packed "the Pax" is? (Yes, that air pro talk for us mortals)How you cannot move, turn yourself or otherwise be comfortable? That´s because the economical design is not new. It has been borrowed from a much, much older form of travel.

Introducing slave ships, circa 1791.

And let´s have a look at the modern airplane interior seating design.

Still not sure of this? Why don´t we have a few more pictures!

And fast-forward back to the future :

Don´t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against anybody, I believe in peace and understanding. Slavery was, and still is, fundamentally wrong. But don´t you think it´s funny that we are paying for the privilege of being pushed together like flesh cargo on a trip to somewhere? Please, be free to share you horror tales of being a modern air slave!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo": American version trailer

As I have stated previously, I don´t like remakes. They don´t make sense, especially when the first editions are done perfectly to the point. But of course, if the idea is good (read: marketable) and worth repeating, it will be exploited.

The original Swedish "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", based on the book "Men who hate women" by the late Stieg Larsson, was superb. Mostly due to the main actress of the film, Noomi Rapace. After her international debut, she is now well on her way to becoming a big star. Duly deserved. By all accounts, her successor in portraying the feisty character of "Lisbeth Salander" will have a hard time convincing the fans of the story of her acting abilities. If anything, the role is extremely demanding, and not meant for the mainstream Hollywood lightweight thespian.

So far, the clip of the forthcoming American remake by David Fincher does not show us much of the skills of Rooney Mara, trying to reenact Rapace´s brilliance. If anything, the short clips show us identical images and scenery resembling the original film.  Why? Because it was _filmed in the exactly same locations_. In Sweden. So why the redo? Because they just don´t like to read subtitles over there. They don´t. Good idea can be capitalized so much more smoothly without those pesky letters ruining the lower half of the screen. I will be eager to see the full final version of this re-cooking, though.  And whether it turns out to be a financial success. Rooney Mara? Not expecting that much, sorry. What mostly strikes me in this clip is the haunting music by Trent Reznor of the "Nine Inch Nails". He also composed "The Social Network".