Thursday, October 29, 2009

the seventh seal



i like how that videos called a trailer, but it spells out the whole movie for you. oh well, knowing what happens in a movie shouldn't affect the experience of watching it. like i've said before if the ending/plot twist is the only thing a movies got going for it, then it's not worth watching.

okay so this isn't really a scary of halloweenish movie, but it was at the top of my list and i didn't want to push it down any further. and hey it involves death, and witches being burned at the stake! it's a rather tragic and heart wrenching scene sure, but still.

i like bergman, way back in the mists of 1999, i was the only freshman in the "film as literature" class, basically we watched movies, briefly talked about them, and had to write a paragraph about what they meant. so yeah, we mostly just watched movies. it was a class taught by one of the coaches, it was odd, but fun. we watched the classics, citizen kane, casablanca, the maltese falcon, white heat, star wars, 2001, and the ingmar bergman film wild strawberries. i was the only one in the class that liked it. it was a slacker class, they complained about all the black and white movies, and this one especially because it was foreign. i loved it though, it was beautiful and odd, like all the best things in life. and while the class was mostly a joke, it did teach me how to appreciate movies.

to the movie at hand, i loved it, the characters were incredible, they were all unique and likable, well except perhaps for the guy dies from the plague, but hey, at least he gets what was coming to him. although i suppose all of them do die...
anyway.
it's hard to talk about something i love, it's much easier to pick apart things i hate.

i think the scenes with the witch were my favourite, how they were unafraid to talk to her, talking trash to her guards, and their muses of rescuing her. her eyes were intense and frightening, she was just a poor kid. damn emotional i have to say.

the squire was by far the best character, singing his goofy songs, brave and rude, a bit of a dick, but generally just a typical guy. not that the knight was by any means a bad or uninteresting character, these characters are so well thought out and completely defined, it makes me sad that all movies can't be this good.

this movie is also brilliant because it offers no answers, you die, that's about it, i love this exchange:
Block: And you will reveal your secrets?
Death: I have no secrets.
Block: So you know nothing?
Death: I am unknowing.
chilling.

it's not all dark and gloomy, there's plenty of funny moments and witty exchanges.
and i just love the concept of a knight coming home from the crusades going on an existential quest.

this was another of my favourite moments in the movie, as it's how i feel about some of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Block: I shall remember this hour of peace: the strawberries, the bowl of milk, your faces in the dusk. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lute. I shall remember our words, and shall bear this memory between my hands as carefully as a bowl of fresh milk.
[He drinks from the bowl.]
Block: And this will be a sign, and a great content.
also i now get the reference in the death coming to dinner scene from the meaning of life, good times.

five out of five


Thursday, October 22, 2009

16. the moon & antarctica

(2000)

and here we have it, modest mouse's last great album, sure their newest ep has the amazing king rat, and the whale song, but two songs that prove brock can still write with some rejects from their latest two albums isn't anything to be excited about.
i was caught up over which album to use, this or ugly casanova's sharpen your teeth, ultimately i went with this album, as it was my introduction to modest mouse, and is overall more epic.

also i went for the 2004 remix, i'm not entirely sure all what tweeks were made, but it is overall more pleasing to listen to than the original 2000 album, and the new artwork was definitely and upgrade.

i don't have too much to say about this album, modest mouse has been one of my favourite bands since i discovered them eight or nine years ago. teeth like god's shoeshine is one of the the best songs of all time songs for me, and isaac brock just writes clever lyrics and epics sounds. and while i haven't been too crazy about modest mouse's latest albums, they're not bad, just more mainstream friendly than i would like.

back in late '03 i waited outside of a bar in freezing weather with some of my other underage friends just to listen to modest mouse, well actually i did it for two nights

first night:
interstate 8
bury me
3rd planet
wild pack of family dogs
i came as a rat
black cadilac
the good times are killing me
trailer trash
doing the cockroach
never ending math equation
paper thin walls
one chance
float on
bankrupt on selling
cowboy dan
bukowski

second night:
paper thin walls
bury me
broke
interstate 8
the good times are killing me
black cadillac
doing the cockroach
3rd planet
one chance
wild pack of family dogs
i came as a rat
bukowski
trailer trash
bankrupt on selling
float on
out of gas

on the second night, i actually got to briefly meet isaac, he came out for a smoke break before the fake rock star encore as he put it, he was a bit of a druken asshole, not in a "what a jerk" sort of way, just in the way you'd expect him to be.
i was eighteen and met one of my favourite bands, it was awesome.

back to album at hand, from start to finish i believe it's their best album, definitely the strongest, i absolutely love this is a long drive... and the lonesome crowded west, but some of the songs on those albums eventually start to grate on me.



songs of isolation, loathing, faith, or lack there of. it's art.
life like weeds is a song that must be heard, as it sums up this album nicely.

our voices shook hands the other day

Sunday, October 18, 2009

blood sucker review: part one

or: pardon me, but your teeth are in my neck.

from dusk till dawn



i loved this movie, the vampires don't even show up until an hour in, and in that hour there is no indication of it becoming a vampire movie, that's just brilliant. it just seems mostly a crime thriller, with some black humour thrown in, and then suddenly, holy shit, vampires. i keep finding myself wanting to say zombies instead of vampires when talking about this movie, i think mostly because the vampires did seem a mindless and monsterous lot, well moreso the vampire bats that show up after all the stripper and bartender zombies vampires are down. i did really like that they took the aspects of other animals, like salma hayek being snake like, and sex machine turning into a giant rat like thing, evil is more than just bats! i also quite enjoyed the reveal of the pyramid at the end.
typical robert rodreguiz flick, so of course i liked it.

four out of five

imdb

interview with the vampire



can't believe i hadn't seen this movie before. despite tom cruise it's actually quite good, shocking i know. there's a lot to like about this movie, the way the vampires look was done quite well, there's this odd not quite human quality about them, and how they would accentuate the veins both in the humans as warm and lively and in the vampires as cold and dead. i also liked that they knew nothing of their own history, what they were, where they came from and so on. and kirsten dunst's character was an interesting, forever a child. so yes, brad pitt was a bit mopey, tom cruise was crazy and annoying, well actually maybe that's why this role worked for him, he didn't have to act. but it's a great story and really quite entertaining. biggest complaint being the horrible cover of sympathy for the devil at the end. could they not get the rights for the original? was guns n' roses such a big band at the time they ignored that it was a horrible cover?
don't get me wrong, i love guns n' roses, however sympathy for the devil is one of my favourite songs and that cover is bad, and they should feel bad!

four out five

imdb

fearless vampire killers



this movie is about mark twain and roman polanski doing a lot of nothing, and then suddenly vampires. honestly i don't know what polanski was going for here. there was scarce action, little dialogue, no plot, and really bad make-up. it did have some clever moments though, like the cross not working on a jewish vampire, and the humans getting discovered at the vampires ball because of their reflections in the mirror. but that's it, two funny moments in an hour and forty minutes. sharon tate looked hot and was in the bathtub a lot, so it had that going for it...
this movies biggest crime is that it's boring, doesn't work a vampire movie or as a satire.
i really tried to like it, but alas it was just bad.

two (and a half) out of five

imdb

let the right one in



already covered this one actually.

five out of five

imdb


twilight



what is wrong with people? how is this film not considered a joke by all? just ahhhh.
and what kills me is the directors of these movies. the guy behind hard candy and 30 days of night is directing the third one, that blew my mind, i liked hard candy, and loved 30 days. then i find out the director of twilight is the woman that did thirteen, i mean really? how can you go from that to twilight? and the one that's coming out now is directed by the guy that did the golden compass, which i enjoyed, the visuals were impressive, ending it without resolution was a really bad idea, however it was entertaining. better than the harry potter movies anyway. yes i went there. hell those movies only got one decent director.
the story is horrible, codependent annoying girl and obsessive stalker glittery bloodsucker are both annoying. it's not love, it's not entertaining, the acting is nonexistent, there are no redeeming factors. well okay watching ashley greene pitch was pretty entertaining, but the concept of that baseball game was so fucking stupid.
just bad. baaaad.



one out of five


Friday, October 16, 2009

the wicker man



you know, i wasn't expecting this movie to be a musical, and honestly it is, those pagans are a joyous and musical people. and i've always firmly believed that people are scarier when they sing at you.

also this movie is further proof that christopher lee should be the villain in everything.
not that i'd call lord summerisle or the pagans villainous really. i mean sure, there is that whole human sacrifice business, but otherwise....

so this movie is christianity vs. pagan beliefs. we've got the uptight christian cop and an island full of sexual, dancing naked in the flames pagans. hilarity ensues. okay not really, the cop feel isolated and you can tell the islanders are playing with him, it's all very creepy. that fact that always burst out into joyous song doesn't help.
the suspense comes from him looking for a missing girl that everyone on the island claims doesn't exist, then caught in their lie they all claim that she's dead. constant lies and a stressed out protagonist. although i didn't really feel for him too much, he was pretty pig headed and too easily disgusted and outraged by the pagan beliefs. and there in is the problem, his intolerance and disgust of these people's beliefs. although i suppose christopher lee does tell him the christian god is dead "he had his chance"

this movie works because of how out of place the cop feels on this alien island, everywhere he goes he isn't welcome, but his beliefs push him on anyway. people laugh, lie, and sing at him, as he tries to continue his investigation.

the scene where the landlords daughter tries to seduce him is haunting and beautiful. she's naked in that video, just so you know.

so yes, as he continues on his crusade to rescue this little girl, convinced now that the heathens are going to sacrifice her to save their failed crops. well as it turns out, it was all a clever ruse, and a fool virgin that would willingly come is the ideal sacrifice. oh snap.
so the film ends with morose christian prayer vs. joyous pagan singing, fire and sundown.

it's a damn brilliant film, the music, the suspense, the references to old pagan beliefs, the acting, all of it is great.

five out of five

Thursday, October 15, 2009

i hope most of these movies don't suck


i know i said that i'd likey review from dusk till dawn before i reviewed the wicker man.
however, i realized i have an obscene amount of vampire movies in my queue, so i'm instead going to review all of them in two or three megaposts.

you can expect the wicker man review later today or tomorrow.

something not to expect however is bees.
bees, my god.

17. if it was you

(2002)

i first discovered these canadian twins back in the gloury days of napster, you know before metallica ruined everything. i came across the song my number and was blown away. i got a couple other of there songs as well, frozen, proud, and the sublime this is everything.

i feel this music is in great contrast to the more pop sounding stuff they're putting out now:



not saying i didn't enjoy the con, it's a great album, however i tend to prefer their older sound, so why did i pick if it was you over this business of art? because it's a great transitional record, it was before they got super poppy, and before they ditched a lot of their old sounds and ways of singing.

also it contains the song living room:



and that's about it, this album contains my favourite song by them, some of their best lyrics, catchy songs, and it's just important in the transition of their sound.
i heart me some tegan and sara, and you should too.

i'm really looking forward to their new album sainthood.
you can check the single hell on their myspace.


i want a house on the beach, and you in my dreams

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

i want to eat out your bitter heart.

after discovering cardiacs not too long back, and going through some files on my old computer, i came across a song by the band the paper chase, titled who can deny how delicious it tastes
it was a song i downloaded years ago off epitonic, back when that website was still shiny and new.
it's an odd song to be sure, but nothing to write home about. i mostly kept it around because i was amused by the album title Cntrl-Alt-Delete-U

so i decided to look for more music by this band, and damn, do i feel a fool for not looking them up sooner.



it's haunting, creepy, odd, and beautiful.

go to their website, download/listen to some tunes.

we know where you sleep

the best of buffy

so it being october and all, i decided i'd start out the themed reviews with a list of my top eleven (ridiculous i know) episodes of buffy the vampire slayer.

these are the episodes that made the series for me, that encompass all that is good.
or just star xander really.

in chronological descending order.

11. tabula rasa


'nuff said?
just a funny episode with everyone trying to figure out who they are. well literally, their minds being blank slates and all.

10. once more with feeling



joss whedon needs to write more musicals.
great music, great story, buffy finally let's out her secret, in song even. and sweet, one of the best villains ever, actually wins and gets away. the first time i was watching the episode, i was afraid whedon would do some shock killing of sweet for laughs, glad he didn't go that route.

9. the replacement

i'm bad ash, and you're good ash.

i was never sure which line was better. "good, bad, i'm the one with with the gun" or "i'm not that good."
i don't think it was until seeing the above scene in the opening credits that i realized how much nicholas brendon reminded me of bruce campbell. and hell that scene above was good enough to be in the opening title for the rest of the series, just a fun episode with a great twist. and yes xander.


8. restless



i love dream episodes, they allow more freedom, a journey away from the norm.
a fun and nightmarish episode.
i think giles singing in this lead to the musical.

7. hush


6. fear, itself

just another episode exploring everyone's worst fears and nightmares. and the ending was cheesy in that whedon charm sort of way, it's an all around great episode.

5. earshot

i never understand why people want the ability to read people minds. this episode illustrates one of the reasons why i feel that way. i mean there's that and the fact that i doubt you'd be able to sort through the information in any meaningful way, the mind doesn't just operate in words, and what interest is there to people on the top level of consciousness?
also, xander walking in on the lunch lady might be the funniest moment in the whole series.

4. doppelgangland


uh, evil willow is hot. also notable for the first use of the phrase "bored now"

3. the zeppo

i didn't start watching buffy until some time in the last season. i had caught a few episodes here and there but they never really interested me that much. and then i caught a rerun of this episode and was hooked.
it's screwball at it's best, it's also the right mixture of horror, humour, and h-suspense.
it told me everything i needed to know about the characters in order to get into this show and love it from there on out.

2. bewitched, bothered and bewildered

well said t-rex, well said.

1. the pack

honestly i don't think the show would have made it without this episode. the first season was goofy and mostly forgettable.
although i don't think the puppet episode is as bad as some people claim.
this is just a dark episode, xander is possessed and becomes a threat, and he's supposed to be the lovable goofy one!
it's just an awesome episode. and has a great soundtrack.


Friday, October 9, 2009

18. fur and gold

(2006)

i love bat for lashes.
there is something mystical about her.


i first heard of her thanks to mr. skullhead of kol fame. actually, skully and co. have introduced me to a lot of music over the past three years, however bat for lashes is still my favourite of the bunch.

it was this song that first drew me in,
and honestly, music doesn't get better than that.
her music is just beautiful and haunting. and while i've listened to it, i'm actually quite ashamed i don't own her newest album. the songs off it have failed to grab me the way trophy did, or the ways tahiti, what's a girl to do, and prescilla followed up on that. it does seem she managed to keep her unique sound while expanding into synth and electronica however, which is interesting.

fur and gold, is just a brilliant album from start to finish, never a lull. it starts out strong and ends, well it depends. originally it ends with i saw a light, an epic song to be a sure, but the american release ends with i'm on fire, a chilling cover of the boss. they both work well to wrap up the album, slow paced and beautiful, not ending with a bang, just fading out, leaving you to reflect.
the album is an experience to be sure.
forget best female musician, bat for lashes is one of the best musicians out right now.
and this album is irrefutable proof.



i'm a halloweener


in honour of my favourite holiday, i rearranged my netflix queue, sending all horror films straight up to the top.

next up in my dvd queue, the wicker man.
and no, not the comedic version starring nick cage.
the next review however, will likely be from dusk 'til dawn.
and if all goes well i shall be reviewing thirst around halloween.
hell, i might even do a retro-review of let the right one in.

i love this month. anything can happen!

mongol




indeed.

i have a few issues with this story, like many stories of grandeur, it makes the lead, mr. khan, out to be a bit of a jesus figure. and puts a lot of his strength and power through divine right.
it did have payoff though in that last battle that was pretty neat. and i did like the soothsayer and monk fearing him. they were good ideas, they just seemed shoehorned into this tale.
my other issue is with his wife, i mean sure, in real life he did go and save her from the merkits. however, in the film she seemed the source behind most of his decisions, telling him what to do. i mean, we're to believe temujin is a brilliant and cunning strategist, and yet we only see this a few times in the movie (most noticeably the end), every other time it's luck, divine intervention, or just doing what his wife tells him to do. eh. then there was that whole weird bit where he's being held in a cage by the tanguts and his wife becomes a groupie of a dutch rock band in order to reach him. it was just odd.

the only other complaint was the battle special effects, the blood was just cartoony, and it was a laughable when he threw a spear and stuck that guy to the wall.

i'm willing to forgive this movie for it's sins though, the locations were beautiful, the costumes, props, and sets were of amazing quality, and most importantly it was an enjoyable tale. i do admit though, i have a huge obsession with mongolia and it's nomadic tribes, so i knew i'd likely enjoy this film. and hey, it even had throat singing!

oh yes, and this movie is set up to be the first part of trilogy. so let's hope for the best there.

four out of five

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

19. she wants revenge

(2006)

it took me awhile to buy this album actually, i mean sure i loved the song tear you apart, but how did i know the rest of the album was just as good? it also came out the year i wasn't buying and cd's with fbi warning's on them.


it pisses me off that something that ugly gets printed on cd's. it's like i'm being punished for legally purchasing music, fuck that. coheed and cambria's from fear through the eyes of madness is a great example of this, it not only has the warning on the sleeve, and the tray, but on the fucking cd itself. maddening. my boycott lasted about a year and a half, then i realized most of the bands i'm interested in don't have that shit on their cd's and i shouldn't deny myself the few good mainstream albums. and so i finally broke down and picked this cd up for nine bucks, and it quickly became an album i keep in heavy rotation.



it's like they condensed all the dark sexuality of the cure and depeche mode.

i sadly haven't listened much to their latest album, i gave it a play through on myspace and it didn't hit me as noteworthy, but fbi warning aside, it did take me awhile to finally break down and buy this album. so i'm sure i'll eventually give it a few more listens.

there's not much else to say, this album is damn sexy, and i love it so.


you can occupy my every sigh

infected girls



i love this band, and this song has been stuck in my head all week.

also, they're right you know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

dead man



i love this movie, because it shows the wild west for what it was, dangerous and disgusting.
the fact that it's directed by jim jarmusch, stars johnny depp, and has a soundtrack by neil young just make it that much more amazing.

the story is this, meek accountant william blake moves out west, for he has nothing left back in cleveland. he arrives in hell, an idustrial factory surrounded by a wretched hive of scum and villainy, only to find out he has no job. that night he finds some cheap booze and woman that sells paper flowers. he ends up spending the night with her, only to have her ex walk in to try to get back together. her ex tries to shoot blake, but she gets in the way, the guy is now in shock and blake grabs her gun and fire twice before finally hitting the other guy. at this point we find out the bullet went through the girl and into blake. in a panic he jumps out the window steals a horse and heads off.

we next see an indian taking a knife to his wound "stupid fucking white man." and he informs blake that the bullet is too far in and close to his heart, blake is effectively the walking dead. the indian, who goes by the name nobody, freaks out when he hears blake's name, and starts quoting the poet. we find out over the course the movie the indian was abducted and taken to england when he was young, a sort of savage child freak show attraction. after mimicking them hoping they would lose interest, they actually gained more and sent him to school, where he discovered william blake. so nobody now believes blake is the spirit of the poet, and that the gun shall be his new art, in a quest to rid the west of the white man. they adventure together, kill iggy pop, and many other white men, and each have their own respective vision quest.

their goal as they meander west is to send blake back into the spirit world, yet they keep running into different law men and other people out for blake. it was assumed after he left that he killed both the man and the woman. and more importantly he stole a very good horse. blake eventually gets into his roll, letting his killing be his poetry, and actually gets good at it. in the meantime there's an insane cannibalistic bounty hunter tracking blake and nobody, who, until he killed him, had a companion that sounded far too much like tom waits.

it ends as you would expect it to, and ties back to cripsin glover's creepy, and at the time nonsensical speech from the beginning of the film.

it's a beautiful and surreal movie, what more can one ask for?

five out of five

she wants to rock!


14 year old girl dresses up like angus young and smashes gnomes.

best news story ever.
it reminds me of some words by kmfdm,
"i'm a rock and roll monster with a bass guitar"
something we should all strive for in our lives i think.

Monday, October 5, 2009

castle of cagliostro



what's not to love about lupin the third?
he's seriously my favourite manga/anime character.
in fact his whole crew is great.



the gang:


lupin III

unofficial grandson of the literary character, lupin carries on the title of the "gentleman thief". generally pretty goofy, but deep down serious and brilliant. he does however turn into a total fool around women.


jigen

jigen is the chain smoking, wisecracking, cynical gun man, and best friend of lupin. he's usually the voice of reason, well what little there is to be had in these stories. he seems to have fallen out of some film noir, and is by far my favourite character.




goemon

mystical samurai for hire and descendant of a japanese folk hero. i say mystical because he owns a blade that would put hattori hanz┼Ź to shame. he's the most silent and serious of the group.



fujiko

because where would we be without our femme fatale? fujiko is lupin's kryptonite. she inevitably backstabs the rest of the gang, it's always just a matter of time. not that she hasn't saved their goofy asses a few times. she's just driven by greed.

ah yes, and let us not forget

inspector gadget zenigata

the tenacious and buffoonish agent of interpol that always trying to arrest our hero. despite being on different sides of the law, lupin and zenigata actually do admire and care about eachother.


now on to the review....

i've always felt the lupin movies were fairly odd, the manga's were dark, but not without their humour, and the anime series were almost entirely comical. the movies always seem to be inbetween, lots of goofy stuff mixed in with the more dark and serious. there's usually a lot more sci-fi elements in the movies as well.

the plot of this movie deals with lupin searching for the source of counterfeit money that he ran into in one of his latest heists. thus we get drawn into a the drama of a cagliostros, and a secret of lupin's past. it's pretty standard as far as lupin movies go, however considering this was the most acclaimed of the movies, it likely became the mold for the rest of follow. i liked it, it wasn't anything amazing, however it was far from bad.
it's hard for me to not like anything involving lupin though.

i mean, how can you not like someone with such an awesome theme?


four out of five

fu manchu, i choose you!


well not that fu manchu,



that fu manchu.
i mean, what other band travels through time just to rock the 80's?

as mentioned months ago, fu manchu was a band i've always been aware of, but didn't get into until recently.
back when i was eighteen or so, the band became a joke between a friend and i, not that we thought the band was bad or anything, we just thought their name was ridiculous and fun to say. the joke carried on long enough to the point were another friend bought me one of their pins for my birthday. i still wear that pin on one of my caps by the way.

anyway, in arizona i managed to get a hold of one of their albums. listening to it on the long drive home blew my mind. i couldn't believe i hadn't sat down to listen to them until then.

it's just stoner rock at it's best, or as their website puts it "music so good you will explode!"
if i had a band, fu manchu would be the main influence. they're that damn awesome.




so be sure to check them out, especially since they have new album coming out later this month.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

coming soon....

top 19 albums of the past nine years
why nineteen?
well originally it was going to be nine...
but i couldn't narrow it down anymore.

sunshine



i honestly don't have too much to say about this movie, i''ve been a fan of danny boyle, ever since i saw a life less ordinary. and as a filmmaker he just keeps getting better.

this is a pretty standard sci-fi horror flick, the ship with the foreboding hallways, the voice of reason nobody listens to. the evil that's never really seen, everybody dies, and so on.

i'm going to break it into what i liked, and what i didn't.

like:
the visuals are quite nice, they did a great job making the sun look magnificent, awe inspiring, and i really love how it became an obsession to some.
the characters all had distinct personalities, and that all of them (well almost all of them) were willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team set the mood perfectly. much like in 28 days later, the actual "bad guys" were the military dudes, not the zombies, much like the chance of failing is the real enemy in this, not mr. brightside. it really gave the sense of urgency in completely their mission, how vital it was for mankind. i liked how the psychological aspects of space travel were handled with the earth room, and how the air was generated by onship plants. that's the future i want. the score was also beautiful, and some of it was done by underworld, with whom danny boyle fans should be familiar.

didn't:
the burninated captain of the first ship. not that his existence was wrong, it was a good twist and he was frightening, but the whole solar flare thing everytime he was around, at first it made sense, kappa's vision was messed up from looking into the sun room, but at the end it was just like, "oh come on!" although it is probably for the best you don't get a better shot of his skin sloughing off. his whole religious shtick did make him all the more frightening though.
the darkness of the ship, of course bad things are going to happen in dimly lit hallways! i can understand them wanting to show the lack of the sun, but they did that by eliminating warm colours from the pallet, i mean while florescents are bright, they're still cold, and more importantly artificial. brighten that ship up, no wonder why they were all so edgy.

in the end it was a enjoyable film, kappa's last moments were a bit grandiose, but hey he earned it. and i really liked the last shot of the sun coming back from earth.

four out of five