I spent the last Saturday of my week in the Netherlands sightseeing in Belgium.

Herman Haverkort took Elena, Chris, Jasper, and I on a road trip in his Citroen to Bruges, where we spent the day being tourists, seeing the clock tower and the Michelangelo sculpture and the lace umbrella stores and the medieval architecture and the retired nuns on bicycles, eating waffles, and drinking plenty of good Belgian beer. We then stopped in Ghent on the way back for dinner at a place called The Crypt, which served a very fine beef stew (the overdecorated all-you-can-eat ribs joint we had thought to try being too busy).

We had planned to prepare for the trip the night before by watching In Bruges, but at the last minute Chris decided on Miller's Crossing instead. I had a second chance to watch In Bruges on my return flight from Crete, but sadly it was on a tiny low-contrast LCD screen that I couldn't stand to watch for more than a few minutes, and the airplane noise and lack of sleep didn't help my concentration either, so I didn't get very far into it. Miller's Crossing was good, anyway, though it had little to do with picturesque Belgian cities.

Photos here, a bit more touristy and snapshotty than usual.


In Bruges is weird, and much more violent and less funny than I expected. Yes, there are some background shots of the city which you'll recognize having been there, but otherwise no particular commentary. (If you liked -- or at least didn't mind -- Pulp Fiction and similar movies you may like In Bruges. If you think such things are icky, then you probably won't like In Bruges.
I did like Pulp Fiction. But, and I'm not sure whether this is in part due to the annoying screen I tried to view it on, in the short part of In Bruges that I watched I was finding Colin Farrell's part more annoying than amusing, not a good sign for my enjoyment of the rest of the movie.
Yeah, I didn't like either of the characters either particularly. This means that when they all die at the end you sort of think "so what"? which doesn't lead to an enjoyable movie. And it's not really funny enough to compensate. I wrote a little story about it when I saw it: http://brassratgirl.livejournal.com/413369.html