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Monday, December 28, 2009

Watch The Vetala

If you have a spare half hour of your life go on over to www.thevetala.com and watch one of the best tv series on the web. It's even better than most tv shows. The entire first season in 7 five minute [give or take] episodes. Very easy to get into the story.


Friday, December 11, 2009

/* it's the coldest day of the fall */ - your shot of the day




It's the coldest day of autumn at minus 10 C outside at the moment with a minus 19 windchill - in short - it's too cold!

So a little photomerge via CS3 - but the afterwork is the kicker.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

/* we still haven't found what we're looking for */ - your shot of the day











It's that time of year and we start you off with another daily shot of the day in T.O. - this fair city -

Today is somewhere experimenting with the world of Camera RAW although not shooting in RAW.

It's the second day of this white stuff in the city.

More to come for sure Drop us a line. Love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

/* it's here ! */ - Your Shot of the Day






Don't you just love this time of year? It's the first day of the white stuff and already this city is in chaos.

The TTC take an hour to go north and an hour to go south in a journey that should take 15 minutes. It's not the white stuff but pouring and getting splooshed by large uncaring trucks is not anyone's idea of a good time. [How could the truck care? It's a truck - but the driver should}.

So here is your first shot of the first day of the white stuff.

yes, more movie reviews and reflections to come.

More to come for sure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sin City Effect

The Sin City effect in Final Cut Express video

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are you ready for this

I love this game


This clip is from the last game of the regular season October 17 between Death Track Dolls and Chicks Ahoy!

The action is for real and the hit do hurt. It's damn exciting and a great night out

video

Unfortunately these two teams are not in the championships.

Championship game Saturday Nov. 21, 2009 at the Hangar!

Gore Gore Rollergirls v. Smoke City Betties


Go out and support the girls and a great movement.

See you there!

Take the better way

Life happens on the better way.

video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Life in a day at TIFF 09

Yonge Dundas Square back when the weather was almost summer and the nights were cool.

video

Thursday, October 01, 2009

/* Jennifer's evil */ - Jennifer's Body

The difference between Jennifer's Body at TIFF 09 and a Friday afternoon at the Empress Walk?

11 people - 8 schoolgirls.

Comfort factor? Yes.

Reviewing Jennifer's Body is almost pointless - everything seen in trailer or spoilers. Suffice to say that the literal pull of the film hinges on Megan Fox and the soul of Mean Girls Amanda Seyfried. The transformation of Megan Fox from the soundstage of Michael Bay to hot girl in this almost indie piece is not a stretch.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TIFF 09 - Day 10 - Party on !














The makers of Copycat Criminals hosted the free to the public celebration of the end of TIFF at Yonge Dundas Square on a cold chilly night in Toronto. A blending of music videos and small clips from the top films of all time were splashed on the screen to the background music of loud rap and dance with booming bass.

At the end of it all the TIFF host organizer whose presence has been seen at the square through all the free screenings every day said "See you next--" and stopped there.

Indeed, see you next.

Monday, September 21, 2009

TIFF Day 10 - /* why me */ - Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire

The Cadillac People's Choice award winner for TIFF 09 - why are we not surprised? This movie will not be everyone's cup of tea - it definitely wasn't ours - but the lure of the free ticket and the reputation of last year's winner drew people in - the crowd stretched in front of the Elgin on Yonge Street around the corner down Church Street and up Victoria Street waiting for the magic hour of seven when the tickets were given out.

With all the pull that only Oprah can bring - this film Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire is surprisingly a very tough watch but laced with moments of humour that bring Precious out of the darkness.

It's a survivor's tale - with no spoilers here - a harrowing childhood and a lazy, abusive mother on welfare and a father nowhere in sight - Precious's life in the toughest part of New York is contrasted by her MTVshaped escapist fantasies. The director Lee Daniels employs little indie canera tricks to mask this motion picture. Heavyweight names behind the characters surrounding Precious's life - including Mariah Carey as a social worker and Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse - subsume their star identities into the characters of their roles, almost becoming unrecognizable. Despite being suspended from school for her second pregnancy Precious's principal recommended her to an alternative school "Each One Teach One". The teacher - almost too good to be true - driven by her love of teaching - encourages her students to write in their journals - drawing Precious out of her shell and pushing her rudimentary reading skills along and to write her story.

This is the type of movie where if the Academy saw only one film would swallow hook line and sinker. It has every element of an Academy Award winner - a winning tale - a heroine who fights the odds - surrounding characters who keeps things interesting and amusing despite their situations - last year the Cadillac People's Choice Award winner was a little movie made in India by Danny Boyle called Slumdog Millionaire - a similar fate may not be out of the cards for Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.

Friday, September 18, 2009

/* Don't think twice */ - Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound


Piers Handling the head honcho of TIFF hailed Joan Baez as the voice of a generation before introducing her onstage for the free concert at Yonge Dundas Square. The concert and the Mary Wharton documentary mounted beforehand (to be shown later on PBS' American Experience series) were well attended, a packed crowd straining for a look at the star. Baez's career has spanned fifty years and shows her vulnerability, and plenty of footage of Bob Dylan who had appeared earlier in the Square that day baezin the Don't Look Back documentary.

Baez was caught in the conundrum of trying to be available to everyone, not holding anything back while at the same time trying to come to terms with herself in identity. An avowed pacifist, going back to the days of Dr Martin Luther King and the marches - a pacifist, she fought the war in her own way, trying to bring young men out of the lines before they went into the recruiting stations and getting arrested for her efforts, and after spending time in jail going right back to the front of the protest and doing it all over again, her times in jail only made her a "stronger pacifist"singing the folksongs and hits she created "The Night They Tore Old Dixie Down", bringing Bob Dylan and his songs into the movement in her own way, but holding onto Dylan too tight, unable to shape him, their breakup captures on film during Don't Look Back although it may not have been readily apparent at the time, continuing to fight the Victham War, and seeing her husband taken off to jail for resisting the draft and giving birth to her son during that time, coming back into Dylan's fold with the fun of The Rolling Thunder Revue, and finally coming to a place of peace at last.

Despite the chill of the night, the crowd hung on - getting to hear the voice on God Is God, and a few other tunes including "Don't Think Twice It's All Right" riffing on Bob Dylan's voice for a few lines. which perfectly captured the spirit of the night.

TIFF Day 9 - /* the times they are a changin' */ - Don't Look Back - An American in London


D A Pennebaker's documentary on Bob Dylan's tour of London and area in the year of 1965 when he was the rising "folk singer" - a pigeonholing he reruted to the press - his acoustic career was ascending into the media spotlght on a scale of the madness of Beatlemania.


Shot in black and the camera captures it all on the grainy footage following Dylan everywhere from backstage of concert venues to his travelling limo or the hotel rooms to the front of stage itself. Playing solo on stage in front of a church hall or the Royal Albert Hall - it was a time for all mod cons. Marianne Faithful watching on as Dylan played at the piano, Joan Baez on the sofa with Dylan typing away on an old manual, the ever hovering Alan Grossman, his manager, trying to land a deal with the BBC - Alan Price, Donovan - and the ever presence young girls following Dylan, eyeing his hotel room from ground level - or chasing his car after concerts. The madness of a carrer and not that we knew it the beginning of the end of his relationship with Joan Baez who he did not bring on stage with him even though she was invited to accompany him. Plenty of cigarettes and alcohol in a room and the incident with a glass being thrown at a limo driver that seems to be escalating and fueling Dylan's anger.

Of course the beginning of the film is hallmarked by its homestyle flip card video of Subterranean Homesick Blues with Allen Ginsberg in the background lookingly bemusedly on at the shooting.

Don't Look Back belies its title - it is worth the look back

Thursday, September 17, 2009

TIFF Day 8 - /* it's a musical journey */ - U2: Rattle and Hum


Man, do these cameras ever fly. For 1988 what makes Philip Joanou's rockumentary of U2's Rattle and Hum tour is the way these cameras move and move fast to really capture the action. As opposed to D A Pennebaker's cameras were really crammed into the pit with their lenses trained on a spot on the performer and focusing in and out - and even in Monterey there was some crude form of steadicam with a 16mm camera attached at the end of a long harness - the cameras of Rattle and Hum really move and maintain a rocksteady focus during concert but can swirl during a performance of Desire. Desire showed U2's integraton of the roots of American rock and roll into its sound - Rattle and Hum captures another period of the band's history, distinct from Live at Red Rocks. U2 were becoming even bigger anthemic rock stars and showmen - stopping traffic in San Francisco for a rock concert - protesting the internecine rivalries in his native Ireland that culminated in the explosion in Inniskillin that claimed eleven lives - the whole film is a helter skelter of experiences from the top end of Harlem for I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For to the heart of Memphis to record in Sun Studios with the real producers and musicians of the time and a visit to Graceland itself where Larry Mullen Jr. evocatively rides aboard Elvis's bike. The segment with BB King is classic meets today blues.

Finally landing into the colour spectrum U2 Rattle and Hum again shows the obvious connection between band and audience - the Tempe Sun Devil Stadium bursting into life for the anthemic Where The Streets Have No Name - and songs such as Unforgettable Fire's Pride (in the Name of Love) and Joshua Tree's With Or Without You are hallmarks of an era that U2 don't try to follow up anymore constantly on their current 360 tour shedding a lot of the past to their current infatuation with studio experiments. U2 RATTLE AND HUM is a nice way of remembering U2 when they were at the absolute top.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

/* I will follow */ - U2 at Skydome - night one



What a difference four hour makes - from waiting beforehand in the chill air of Skydome waiting for Snow Patrol to open up at the super early hour of 7:15 and then four hours later as U2 brought their two hour plus set to a close - what a strange stage.




TIFF - DAY 7 - /* the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning */ - The Band tangle up with Scorsese in The Last Waltz



The Band started at The Winterland - and came to a close at The Winterland.

Sixteen years was enough for Robbie Robertson - envisioning 20 years on the road was beyond fathoming for his. The Winterland show - the castle of promoter Bill Graham - would be The Band's "last waltz" “the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning.” The time go get out was now, because the road had claimed too many victims: Hank Williams, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Jimi. So they brought together a few of their mentors, idols and friends and Scorsese's camera crew highlights their last kick on and off stage, stopping in between songs for interviews that set up the moments to come...

Shots of the crowd are at a minimum save for the beginning shots of the crowd lineup to get into the theatre, or wide shot taken of the stage that show it was a general admission floor, and photographers vying to get their pictures with old Pentax cameras.



At The Last Waltz - auch talent never to be assembled, talents at the top of their game, and then gone on to icon or legendary status - Neil Young, Joni Mitgchell, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond.

The Last Waltz reflects a worndown band away from the stage trying to get a measure of their place in time and looking to the future - but once on the floorboards, they show their greatness and their songs with an exuberance - and playing along with the likes of Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan a reverance and joy.


The music took us everywhere physically, spiritually, psychotically...



Scorsese lends his weight to the tone of the film, setting up the key moments and bringing in the talents who were maybe not on the floor of Winterland but shows the scope of The Band's influences and their musical range bringing in gospel choirs or Emmylou Harris on Evangeline.

The Last Waltz is simply just a great film. Like all great documentaries, The Last Waltz captures the sense of a generationk, a whispering, definitive moment in time that will never be repeated,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TIFF Day 6 - /* If you're going to San Francisco */ - Monterey Pop - all you need is love

Three days of sun and rain way back in June 1967 at The Monterey International Pop Festival - D.A. Pennebaker's band of cameramen rolling miles of film in am indulgent manner yet getting locked into camera shots without external coverage - a vintage slice of history - audiences then and now coming to life and gasping at the powerhouse performances of Otis Redding and Janis Joplin come burst into life on the screen, the flower children The Mamas and the Papas, the psychedelic Jefferson Airplane and the blackest blues voice of Eric Burdon and The Animals - the whimsy and the mayhem of The Who performing My Generation and the utter look of shock on the young girl's faces at the destruction of Pete Townsend's guitar - only to be topped by The Wild Thing himself - Jimi Hendrix - who performs last rites for his white Fender before setting it ablaze then throwing the smashed pieces to the crowd. Just as interesting as the stars on stage are the visages of a young nation and innocent generation who came to Monterey - flowers painted on their faces, bell bottoms and floral dresses and long tresses of hair - Mickey Dolenz in the crowd giving Ravi Shankar a standing ovation along with everyone else. Then again there were the Hell's Angels of California in attendance too which worried the police chief. And would worry other people later on.

TIFF DAY 5 - Whip it!









After the public screening of Jonathan Demme's fantastic MCMLXXXIV film of the iconic Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense, things started to stop making sense...

Dexter dancers and Whip It! girls - and Australian broadcasters and snakes...










.../ more

Friday, September 11, 2009

TIFF DAY 2 - /* Shut up and sing */ - Dixie Chicks fighting mad

It was a welcome sight to see The Dixie Chicks back on the screen again in a new light - although the war overseas is still going on - but now redeemed with the removal of George W Bush from the presidency. We saw this back at TIFF 2007 in a packed Ryerson theatre - and many in attendance became a Dixie Chicks fan on the spot.

2003 seems like so long ago when Natalie Maines made her infamous remarks about the President - “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas - and the Dixie Chicks backlash so yesterday's news - but it had a definite impact on their career then - and forced them to open up to wider markets - and found themselves at the CMA feud forefront again despite their 5 awards win at the Grammy awards in 2007, country radio still isn't ready to make nice with the chicks.

The Dixie Chicks won in that year of 2007 record and song of the year for their tough declaration comeback song “Not Ready to Make Nice.” The Grammy also gave the band the award best country album, despite the fact the girls don't consider themselves a country band anymore. However, at the peak of the night Natalie shouted: “I’m ready to make nice!” as they accepted the album of the year award. “I think people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message.”

Way to go Dixie Chicks!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Perfect Getaway - /* red snapper */

Outstanding.

(500) Days of Summer - /* please please let me get what I want */

This is not a love story where boy gets girl. This is not a love song.

A boy growing up listening to "sad British music".

The Smiths and Belle and Sebastian lend instant cool - and wearing a Joy Division t-shirt for overkill. Does it get any better? Add a PiL poster and Pixies for good measure.

Bandslam - /* I would do anything for you */

Bandslam turns out to be surprisingly good - with funny and touching moments that ring with sincerity.

The catchy songs, the never give up spirit provide the backdrop for the infectious fun to come. Add able acting and singer / performance from one part of High School Musical Vanessa Hudgens and one part of Aly and AJ and Phil of the Future Aly Michalka - plus both playing tough and cute to boot doesn't hurt.

Director and writer Todd Graff [who also directed Camp] seems to try too hard to mesh everything together with lots of backstory and how one geeky guy from Cincinnati can land in the realm of two cute girls from diversely different social classes.

Bandslam starts out with loner type Will Burton with a fascination with David Bowie to whom he writes long messages via the Net which form a narrative through the film. At his old school in Cincinatti he's the outsider and weakling who gets bullied, the world of students is prototypical Breakfast Club / 10 Things I Hate About You student divisions by clique. His life can only get better after he movies with his mother {Lisa Kudrow} from Ohio to her new job and life in New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DEAR TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL



Dear anyone nice at TIFF09:

We have been going to the Toronto International Film Festival ever since the days of the director of Julie Ormond's gala at the Elgin not naming her new movie not as "Fatal Extraction". (Name that film) Or having a sensual Bad Timing of it, too.

We remember running OUT OF theatres and having our backpack burst open on the way to The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford or lining up at the Uptown trying to get last minute rushtickets to Heaven or Secretary or enduring Lukas Moodysson and Catherine Breillat at their best or worst. Or freezing after hours outside the Uptown to see Kate Beckinsale at the Midnight Madness viewing of Underworld, then all the geeks afterwards questioning Les Wiseman heavily on his new vampire mythos... Or better still lining up at the University just to get a glimpse of the fuss of what was Devil in the Flesh.

In the days of this current climate, our pocketbook is not going to be able to encompass the cost of this year's passes. So if we could prevail upon you to keep the streak alive - and send us one ticket or if you feel generous enough - one pass - and we promise to review what we see as ably as we can.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours truly,


email me!




an inveterate film fan and TIFF goer as time ticks down

HELLO READER!

Dear Reader!

We're back in the fold again. Just absorbing life and more movies and coming back into the writing again.

Hope you have all been fun exploring your local cinemas or watching the latest out on release at your local cinemas or on the blu-ray tv.

It's been a task trying to keep up and digest it all - and the one caveat of life is I don't want what I can't have.

The job at hand at the moment is trying to write one review per day - the review may not necessarily be a movie, but it will be of something true.

Have fun and let me know if you're out there.

Orphan - who's babysitting?

Public Enemies Michael Mann less than intriguing



For all that Michael Mann is he has helmed what should have been an action packed romp through Depression 1930s into a less than compelling hunt for Public Enemy Number One. Instead he aims for an investigation into the character traits that makes these larger than life characters into a search into their foibles and flaws. It seems Johnny Depp or should we say John Dillinger's character flaw was a deep worship of the Cubs and Clark Gable movies.

Taking Pelham 123 New York melodrama

Star Trek boldly goes back to the beginning and the future

Whatever Works works! Woody Allen nostalgic return

Away We Go an enjoyable roadtrip through marriage

Angels and Demons plunges into the heart of darkness

Up up and away - curmudgeonly charming

Moon is illuminating and confusing

GI Joe action packed

Amy Adams leads Julie and Julia through appetizing fare

It's like butter. Melts in your mouth and tastes so good. sinfully rich in tapestry, be braced to be seduced by the mouthwatering concoctions on the screen. After all, it's the double whammy of Julia Child played whimsically by the one and only Meryl whatshername and her modern day disciple Julie Powell as portrayed by the cute as a button Amy Adams. Director / writer of the screenplay Norah Ephron meshes the two memoirs of Julia Child and Julie Powell into this one movie, a celebration of Julia Child's life in France and Julie Powell's achievement of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's book within the timeframe of one year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Transformers 2 transformative


Michael Bay unleashes the hounds of hell or the dogs or war or should we say the cars of the apocalypse.

The Autobots are back at it against the ultimate of Demonoids and the humans are caught in a war not of their choosing.

While Sam Witwicky gets caught up in the action dragging foxy girlfriend Mikaela Barnes back into the action

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

/* is this happening ? */ - Good night Adventureland !



What is it about Pittsburgh that produces depressing movies about lost characters - in evidence we submit The Deer Hunter, The Wonder Boys, Pittsburgh, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Adventureland.

Sometimes it can be jarring to see a favourite indie actor pop out of place in a major film: a la Jamie Bell from Billy Elliot or Undertow or Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg's Dear Wendy into Peter Jackson's King Kong or Camilla Bell emerge from The Quiet or The Ballad of Jack and Rose into 10,000 BC or Push. Meanwhile there is Jesse Eisenberg who apart from a M. Night sortee into The Village has stuck to Roger Dodger and the forlorn Walt Berkman in The Squid and The Whale.

And once again Jesse Eisenberg is the stoic yet sad Brennan, James Brennan in Adventureland. Brennan has just broken up with a girl he has known for all of eleven days. His high expectations of a six week summer fun vacation in Europe, then grad school at Columbia for journalism and staying in an apartment in New York City with his friend are his way out of hometown. Alas! are shot down in flames as his father is transferred at work to a lesser paying position. So he badly neds money to pay for his education.

A scholarship student majoring in literary, his proceedings in life have proven him inexperienced to even qualify for manual labour jobs in Pittsburgh.

His dysfunctional parents denoted by the copious alcohol consuming father and an ever blame-assigning mother drive Brennan to the desperation of accepting a summer job with his prankful and mean-spirited friend Tommy Frigo at theme park Adventureland.

On his first day out, he meets a girl whose demeanour seem wise beyond her years, yet there she is. Being the new guy Brennan spots her. "Hi, I'm the new guy." On the second day, the new girl saves Brennan from being stabbed over a big-ass panda. Which is where all the fun and drama begins. Adventureland is very skewed - this could have been a flat out comedy but veers towards the quirks and quirky highs in life.

Adventureland brings alive again a time where music defined the generation - The Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum ruled amongst angst-filled kids - and Lou Reed is god. Adventureland maintenance man Mike Connell's claim to fame is playing guitar with Lou Reed one night. The cast of Adventureland is stellar and brings 1987 to life, yet Adventureland dwells in a nostaligic melancholy. Kristen Stewart wearing the perfect Lou Reed Velvet Underground t-shirt brings a very un-Twilight like performance - as Em, still an outsider concealing an inner self full of painful reminders. Her room is adorned with posters of the Buzzcocks Love Bites and Diamond Dogs Bowie, and she collects the coolest records - Big Star's Radio City is on display during the party. Ryan Reynolds as Connell doesn't rise above the rest of the cast - he does his daily chores with a matter-of-fact friendliness and gets along with James, dispensing bits of advice. Brennan's musical hero is Lou Reed and he has a copy of Transformer carefully perched on his system.

The Stardust is a place to hang out and drown the rest of the day while listening to Foreigner or Stones cover bands - Connell goes there with his attractive wife while trying to keep a dalliance with Em on the side, meeting up with her at his mother's basement.

The highlight of the summer is the arrival back of the bodacious Lisa P. played by Margarita Lavieva - along with her sidekick Kelly. Lisa P is hot and she knows it, always in tandem with the similar strutting Kelly - but even Lisa P. does not rise above it all - she does not have overbearing attitude and even deigns to go on a date with James. James is no fool, and recognizes it is probably a payback at one of her suitors, but hey! it's Lisa P!

But in the long run, what dominates Adventureland is this ever-budding bond and romance between the ever-virginal James and Em - they often kiss and fade to black [ she saves him from being knifed over a "giant ass panda" ! ]

Adventureland is this year's Dazed and Confused (and harkens the yearning undertones of The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, which is a good thing) except the events of the best time of their life transpires over a summer instead of one night with stellar performances from a starry cast keeping it real.

/* Sorry Lucy */- Michelle Williams is a treat to behold in the quiet of Wendy and Lucy


Wendy and Lucy is still hanging around Toronto - and if you have not seen this movie yet please make the time to go out and see this little gem. This was our impression from Day 2 back at TIFF08.

/* Sorry Lucy */ = Michelle Williams is a treat to behold in the quiet of Wendy and Lucy
FRIDAY SEPT 5
DAY 2

WENDY AND LUCY
7:45 pm
AMC 7

A girl and her dog on a road trip - stuck in Oregon on the way to Alaska.

Which basically sums up Kelly Reichardt's little movie Wendy and Lucy starring a wistful Michelle Williams - a girl on the road travelling with her dog - with no safety net of her own and no direction home, she is heading away from native Illinois for a better life and financial future in the promiseland of Alaska. But while passing through somewhere in Oregon, the car breaks down leading to a string of misfortune which we will leave you to find out for yourself for now

Reichardt indicated the movie is a reflection of post-Katrina America where the poor and misfortunate are still looked down upon and almost seen to be responsible for their own fates - a post Katrina America where the politicians assume those American people are supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps - but what bootstraps? And where is the financial aid?

Wendy meets a kindly older security guard who watches over the parking lot at Walgreen and they in a way befriend each other. But in the town she meets people without a heart. Michelle Williams as Wendy takes it all in with a quiet stoicism, mingled with a certain despair yet still buoyed by a hope for the best imparted by her new friend - it is only her determination which keeps her moving forward. When she stops her life gasps for air. By the end she is on the road again - on the road to nowhere? but moving on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It's April in Midnight Matinee




February flew by too fast so here we are on the April edition of Midnight Matinee.



It's April so what happened to April March?






GLASVEGAS
A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)
Columbia

So this month it's heaven or Glasvegas and the catchiest single of the decade with Geraldine.

Hopefully this single with its attendant video will not be the death to the band where Delilah might have spelled the death knell of a certain t shirt band. However, the entire debut album is composed of shimmery tunes from the days of loud earplitting yet bright shiny rock devoted to by fans of bands of the Lush and Curve variety. Glasvegas is certainly poppy yet vocalist James Allan imbues the Scottish quartet's songs with a heartache and sadness that would make a young girl's heart break.






BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE
Doubleplusgood
Matinee Recordings

For a solo debut Bubblegum Lemonade has been gathering a whole lot of attention for another Scottish musician. From the label that gave you would-be-goods comes "Laz" McLuskey instrumentalist with his "band" Bubblegum Lemonade. Harkening the psychedelia of Three O'Clock or the original Thirteenth Floor Elevator. Too many prevalent influences may mar the experience of just enjoying this record - after all there can only be one Jesus and Mary Chain no matter how hard a group may try not to emulate it.




THE GUILD LEAGUE
Speak Up
Matinee Recordings



Being late to the game but better than never, catching onto the third record from the Guild League is a discovered delight. The Guild League which started as a side project Tali White, drummer of The Lucksmiths has evolved into this still mammoth Australian six piece. With White upfront instead of behind the kit Speak Up and with a group consisting of cello/bass/sax/guitar and drums the sound is far from conventional but more poppy and sprite than expected and heralds the sound of favourites Pale Fountains [which is always a good thing].

/* You owe me a ten second car */ - it seems like old times in Fast and Furious


Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner are at it again in Fast and Furious - and the originals Brian Walker and Vin Diesel slip back into their counterpart roles with ease. As seen in the opening Dom Toretto is still at the same game south of the border - just with a different crew - save the presence of longstanding girlfriend Michelle Rodriguez as Letty who is back into the fold. What is jarring is seeing Brian O'Conner in a full suit running down his quarry in a foot chase reminiscent of the first Bond movie jumping from rooftop to rooftop and scaling over fences. He may be a FBI agent now but he is still the outsider being made to conform.

At the time of The Fast and the Furious streetracing may have been an underground culture but under the direction of Rob Cohen and fuelled by the adrenaline of fast cars and fast women and a killer BT soundtrack The Fast and the Furious paved the way for the next two movies. And now the fourth instalment arrives in Fast and Furious - directed by Justin Lin [ from the third Tokyo movie ].

The car chases in tight tunnels quarters and the and races in the streets of LA and the mindboggling stunts during the heists are as exciting and riveting as ever. Mind you the reunion of the four casts members with the winsome Jordana Brewster back as Dom's sister and Brian's heartbreak girl from the first movie back in 2001 stlll has chemistry but this is not on the scale of the first Star Trek movie where everybody cheered the first presences of their favourite characters. However for the purposes of Fast and Furious only five years has transpired abd the main action has been shunted to the two males, principally Vin Diesel with the two ladies providing the impetus and the glue for the movie.

Speaking of ladies - there are plenty of those eyecandy types with the high heels and the skimpy and tight clothing and the tough attitude that makes the movie easy on the eyes. The pace of the movie is fast for the action sequences with an easy and humorous banter between the two adversaries, but far from furious when they dwell upon the past and moral conundrums.

Fast and Furious is definitely worth the chase.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More music

Midnight Matinee zen music


Welcome back to Midnight Matinee in the year 2009!

On tonight's show :

BAUHAUS
GO AWAY WHITE



Could you have ever imagined talking about Bauhaus in the 2000s? let alone at the end of the triple zeroes? And here they are back in white in a very edgy album filled with a newer sounding Bauhaus - but still reminiscent of the group that led the goth nation into the world of spy in the cab and someone named Bela Lugosi. An 18 day studio session with Bob Ezrin brings back the band after twenty five years for their fifth and final studio album. Very rock guitar, spartan and lean in places, eastern influences and a goth laced tribute all topped off with that trademark glam Peter Murphy vocal and the fab contribution of Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins.




SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS
ALPINISMS


Maybe it should be School of Seven Belles instead of School of Seven Bells but this is another one of those records that falls into medieval updated choral music - however, this is much less pretentious than the M83 - and with American accents. Catchy rhythms and easy to repeat lyrics make this a good listen when you're on the tube or subway in the morning commute mode.




LOVE IS ALL
A HUNDRED THINGS KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT



For a band grabbing all the attention with their first full length album they stand up to the scrutiny. The sound harkens several of my favourite bands from the 10 Things I Hate About You days - especially Letters to Cleo and the lovely singer - albeit in a different registry and style of shouting out the lyrics.

Too many obvious comparisons to yeah yeah yeah's or Raveonettes abound - but with a less reverential attitude - more tongue in cheek or cheeky - compare the Raveonettes 60s covers of My Boyfriend's Back against the spectoresque Love Is All tunes. At the end of it all love is all.




WOULD-BE-GOODS
BRIEF LIVES



This is a rare catch indeed. After a listen to Stereolab Chemical Chords, then would-be-goods would be the next step in line. The perfect diction of would-be-goods singer Jessica Griffin [ who also contributes the guitars ] fits right into the notch of Stereolab Laetitia Sadier - dare to compare the accented Vivre Sa Vie with a typical Stereolab tune. The band behind Griffin has more than a brief history with name players among them Peter Momtchiloff on guitar, Lupe Nunez-Fernandez on bass, with Deborah Green keeping things straighforward on drums and adding her high harmonies. Brief Lives is a compendium of little pop style vignettes for those looking for their next literate fix of even Camera Obscura or Belle and Sebastian. This 2002 recording of Brief Lives can be found on Matinee Recordings.

have you spent the night in hell
it's a cheap hotel
and the bedbugs in the sheets
won't let you get to sleep
it's hell





DAVID BYRNE AND BRIAN ENO
EVERYTHNG THAT HAPPENS WLL HAPPEN TODAY



Dare to say anything about this album except it is another modern masterpiece - the vocals and tunes of David Byrne against the instrumentals of Brian Eno is their first album together in about 30 years and another leap stylistically from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is a venture worth following. These are not songs about food and buildings or suburbia, but more country or worldly-like, references to ships in the darkness and a lighthouse, but in the end leaving with an impression that is haunting.




SEABEAR
THE GHOST THAT CARRIED US AWAY



Rather naive and simple back to basic folk pop music from Iceland without all the intrinsic weirdness that seems to come out of Iceland. Guitar, piano, plucked violin and a smattering of drums and background instrumentation - with multi-part male and a dose of children background vocals - very light listening designed for listeners of Iron and Wine.




Quick views:

FRANZ FERDINAND
TONIGHT: FRANZ FERDINAND

Sometimes you just have to take Franz Ferdinand for what it is - a scattergun catchy popgun approach that does not aspire to the heights of XTC or the tribal rhythms of Adam and the Ants but still with plenty of dance attitude.

SIGUR ROS
()
This is by far the least favourite Sigur Ros album of the whole lot - failing to reach any etherealness with its dry production at moments and just dragging along at dirge pace - which for most people is the whole point of Sigur Ros.


.../ stay tune for the February edition of Midnight Matinee for the year 2009. Happy Groundhog Day.


JANUARY 19, 2009 10:09 PM

Thursday, March 05, 2009

/* I do not want what I do not have */ - take 4

Here it is - one more shot at our first little movie - taking us back to the days of shooting Change of Heart, Third Man In and Redlife videos. Keep your eyes glued to the screen until the end - and let us know what you think.


Hit the play button below in the media player.

We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


video

Sunday, February 08, 2009

/* can't stay can't leave - let's do it */ - Revolutionary Road redux


This is not the story of Jack and Rose no more - the Wheelers Frank and April as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet with their perfect marriage living the American ideal with a house in suburbia in Stamford Connecticut with their two children. So why does Revolutionary Road have this aura of American Beauty redux? Oh maybe it's because of a certain Sam Mendes and the Thomas Newman score and the Tariq Anwar editing.

Fans of the original Revolutionary Road must be cringing at this adaptation of Richard Yates's novel from 1962- the dialogue between the Wheelers is reduced to platitudes and cliches. However, Revolutionary Road is a triumph due to immaculate acting amongst all the parties involved.