Friday, August 28, 2009

The Funhouse Tour 2009
Acer Arena

As some of you may know, Pink has become a bit of an Australian icon. Her fans are OBSESSED here, they're RAVENOUS when it comes to buying her albums and seeing her shows. Her last tour here was a huge success, and from what Pink said, she didn't expect it to happen again for her next, boy was she wrong, lmao!!!!!!
I laugh because it's hilarious just how insanely huge her current show has become. It originally started at 10 shows [or something around that number] and eventually built up to 20, 30 and now 58 shows in total! Every second person in this country has gone to see her live, and i felt if i didn't make the effort to go catch the show myself, i'd regret it.

I managed to score tickets to her SECOND LAST show of the tour, and after attending it last night, i'm SO glad i got the opportunity to go. The show was AWESOME!. I knew it's be good, i've seen her live on TV and i knew she had the personality to easily carry a concert under her own name. The show exceeded expectations though, and i was blown away by how good it all was!
I unfortunately had to sit through nearly an hour of Evermore performing [booooring], and the show itself took a couple of hours to finally start, so there was a lot of fucking around. Once it began though, it was fucking kick ass!
Pink came rising out of the stage on a giant rig, spinning around in her feather dress and started singing 'Bad Influence'. It looked great and it was a cool way to start the show. She kicked into 'Just Like A Pill', 'Who Knew' and 'You + Your Hand' soon after. A couple other tracks were done, but i've gone a bit blank over which ones they were.
Funnily enough, my 2 favourite moments from the show didn't even include her OWN songs. It was two covers she did. My favourite was her version of The Divinyls "I Touch Myself". She was withering all over a red sofa, while rubbing her pussy and having hands pop out around her and rub her body all over. It was REALLY sexy. She also did a kick ass cover of a Led Zeppelin song, i wasn't familiar with the song itself, but the performance was incredible. She has a GREAT voice!

Another nice moment of the show was when she slowed things down a bit and sang a few ballads. 'Glitter In the Air', 'I Don't Believe You' and a beautiful version of 'Family Portrait'. She also got a chance to talk to the audience which was really cute. She had gifts thrown at her, and she also told us her parents were in the audience that night. If anyone wants to know WHY Aussies have fallen in love with her so much, this was the part of the show that showed you why. She's incredibly like able as a person, she's funny, charismatic and came across very genuine. The audience loved her.

By the time we got to the end of the show, she'd knocked out a few more songs and sung a Queen cover. My 3rd favourite performance of the night was for 'Sober'. Pink was suspended in mid air as she swung and flipped her way through the song. It was fucking awesome! and she even managed to sing well while being upside down most of the time.
She wrapped it up soon after that with 'Funhouse', 'Get The Party Started' and a cover of 'Crazy'. That last cover was the only mild low point for me, she should have replaced it with one of her own songs imo. But whatever, it was still great.

If i had free tickets to see her last show tonight, i'd go again. It's amazing that after 57 shows in the same country, she can still get up on stage and look like she's have the time of her life and perform like it was her first time. The crowd was WILD, and even more diverse than i expected. I had a grandma in front of me headbanging her way throughout the whole thing, lol. It was heaps of fun!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Favourite Films Of ALL TIME! #4Legend [1985]
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry

"May be innocent, may be sweet, ain't half as nice as rotting meat"

Poor brave Legend, it's become a bit of a forgotten gem over the years. I guess in a way, it has reached some sort of MILD cult status, on a smaller level.....amongst fantasy film fans anyway. Anyone from the 80's will most likely remember it, and anyone into fantasy films will most likely LOVE it. Or so they should.
It was one of those movies i grew up watching, along with, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Red Sonja, ect. The 80's were FULL of fantasy adventures, and Legend always stood out among the rest for me because it had much slicker production behind it than the others did. Don't get me wrong, the other films i mentioned were great, especially Labyrinth, but Legend was so much darker and more adult.

The story follows 2 young lovers named Jack [Tom Cruise] and Lilly [Mia Sara]. Jack is like some sort of Tarzan-esque forest boy [with great legs], and Lilly is the local Princess. Lilly doesn't enjoy the servant filled life of a Princess, so she spends her days frolicking around the forest making friends with animals and villagers. It's all very sweet and cheerful.
One day, Jack takes Lilly to see the ancient Unicorns [he's trying to impress her you see]. The Unicorns are very sacred animals, you aren't allowed to go near them or touch them. Lilly, being the pain in the ass she is, chooses to ignore these rules, and makes her way towards one of the Unicorns, to Jack's horror!
Eventually word gets out about these Unicorns and the Princess, and the evil LORD OF DARKNESS sends out his minions to fetch them, so he can use the HORN on top of the horses head to blanket the world in complete darkness FOREVERRRRR!!!!
Jack sets off to find Lilly after her and the Unicorn's are captured, meeting a whole flurry of friends along the way, including one freaky pointy eared dwarf thingie with a chipmunk voice and scary eyes.

The plot is basic and straight forward. It's you're standard boy meets girl, girl gets kidnapped, boy goes to rescue her adventure story we've seen 100 times. What makes Legend special is the characters we meet in this movie, the BEAUTIFUL production design and the music. Let's start with the cast....
The co-stars are the biggest highlight of this movie! forget Tom Cruise, the role asks him to do nothing but jump a lot and look perplexed by everything. Characters you gotta watch out for are Gump, the freaky eyed dwarf thingie that i mentioned earlier. Oona, the Pixie who falls in love with Jack. Blix, the evil troll henchman [or women, i can't tell], who speaks in riddles......and last, but not least, Tim Curry as The Lord of Darkness! Now THAT is some serious awesome shit right there! The make up on Tim in this film is STILL superb. He looks like SATAN personified with his massive black horns, hooved feet and red skin. Tim completely gets lost in the character and you can't take your eyes off him, it's a fantastic role. The entire movie is built around his FINAL reveal, we only see glimpses of him through most of the film until the end where he's shown in all his GIANT glory.
My favourite scene out of the entire movie is when he first shows up and turns virginal Princess Lilly into a Goth Queen from Hell. They play a game of cat and mouse over a "dinner date" that turns ugly once Lilly refuses his hand in marriage. It's an EPIC meeting!

The cinematography is stunning, especially during the Unicorn slaughter scene, but it's the MUSIC in Legend that elevates it even more! For the longest time i thought there was only ONE version of Legend, but later i found out, there were in fact 2. There's the international version which is the one i am familiar with, and it was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, which is BEAUTIFULLY scored. The other is the AMERICAN version of the film, which sadly features music by Tangerine Dream, BIG FUCKING MISTAKE! I had the opportunity to see that version only recently, and i tell you what, the movie lost SO MUCH atmosphere and ambiance with that shitty score, i couldn't believe it. No wonder the movie wasn't well received on it's release!!!!! Legend is the PERFECT example of how much sound and music can enrich something we are watching. If you ever get the chance to see it, ONLY watch the international cut of the film, you have NO idea how much better it is. It's like a completely different movie!

Ridley Scott doesn't talk about the movie much now days. Not because he doesn't like it, but i guess because it was a much more low key film compared to the previous movies he made back then. Tom Cruise never includes it on his resume, or so i read. Maybe he doesn't like it, i dunno. Either way, it's a great movie which i think he should really get behind when he talks about his previous films. Since it wasn't a career defining moment for him, i guess he doesn't find it all that important to remember. That's too bad.
For me, it will always represent a part of my child hood, and one of the best fantasy epics i've ever seen. It's simple, but well acted and BEAUTIFULLY filmed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

AbortionOrphan [2009]
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Well fuck me sideways with a crowbar! this is some SERIOUS fuckery right here! All i've been hearing about is the THE TWIST in Orphan, but i wasn't sure what to expect from it, because some people were saying it's "surprising", others were saying it's "stupid". I figured i'd avoid spoilers and wait to see the movie and judge for myself........well....i saw it....and i'm gonna fucking judge this movie up it's A-HOLE!

Basically, the movie is about a married couple who adopt a young girl from an orphanage. The young girl seems intelligent and sweet in the beginning, but soon starts to show signs of WEIRD behavior and goes on a killing spree to stop her EVIL secret from surfacing. It's your typical devil child type of flick. The thing that everyone is saying MAKES or BREAKS the movie, is the girls "secret".

Now, before we get to the secret, let's talk about the rest of the film. It doesn't reach any great heights, it's very run of the mill, and all very predictable and silly. The movies strongest point is the casting of Esther, the little devil girl. The actress playing her is GREAT, but the character herself is a bit too over the top and unbelievable. In fact, i really wanted to slap that bitch down. Most of her "evil" deeds are rather lame, and at times, she could have been easily caught doing DEMENTED things, but no one seems to have their eyes open around her. We are forced to believe that she's THAT good at being a cunt, but in reality, she really wouldn't be.
At times the pacing is a bit slow and i didn't get scared once. So as far as "scary" movies go, this stays way on the bottom of my list. It's not scary. The movie is also a bit overlong, and the big finale does drag on a bit.

Now for the big TWIST! I won't reveal it in case some of you haven't seen the movie, but i will say, that this twist, is FUCKING STUPID. They take a fairly silly, but mildly enjoyable evil kid movie, and force their viewers to suspend belief BEYOND COMPREHENSION! Seriously, it's as if i shouldn't use my brain if i want to be able to accept the big reveal!
Not only is the twist itself ridiculous, but the plot holes surrounding the twist are MASSIVE. They asked WAY TOO much of the viewers to buy into this twist, in fact, i felt INSULTED that they even expected people to TRY and go along with such a dumb idea.
I felt like the Director was saying, "hey you, viewer, FUCK YOU!". Well you know what, FUCK YOU BACK CUNT!

This movie seems to be having a case of the "Twilights", people either love it or hate it. I for one cannot understand how anyone can accept this film without noticing how unbelievable the entire thing is. It's borderline retarded!

Orphan? more like ABORTION!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Favourite Films of ALL TIME! #3The Crow [1994]
Directed by: Alex Proyas
Starring: Brandon Lee, Bai Ling

"It can't rain all the time"

Man, what a flash back of a movie. Don't you just love it when a film completely takes you back?..........this movie has that type of effect on me. I remember being about 8 years old and Brandon's death and this movie being EVERYWHERE at the time. My love for this movie isn't purely nostalgia based though, i do actually love the movie as a stand alone product. In fact, the older i am and the more i see it, the more i get out of it. I guess it's a case of being a bit more mature and understanding the themes a bit more.

The Crow follows the story of a young couple in love named Eric [Brandon Lee] and Shelly, who are brutally murdered one night in their home by a gang of thugs. One year later, Eric is given the chance to return from the dead and seek REVENGE on those who killed him and his fiancee.
Eric is guided by a crow during his return, who acts as a link between the world of the living and the world of the dead. He's invincible, and pissed off, and he cuts and burns his way through the city trying to find every criminal who was involved in the death of him and his dear Shelly.

That's pretty much the basic plot. Simple enough right? a revenge tale with a supernatural twist, nice!........but the movie is a lot more layered than that.
The key to this movie really connecting with it's audience is Brandon Lee. I've never actually seen this guy in anything else, most of his other films were just B grade martial arts films, and the ONLY one i'm aware of is Rapid Fire. The Crow however was set to be a great career move for him, not only because the movie was actually good, but he finally got a chance to ACT. His portrayal was both scary and very heartfelt. The character goes between angry revenge and emotional pain very easily, and Brandon plays it perfectly. Even underneath the make up you can see still see the sadness his his eyes when he talks about his love for Shelly.
That was the key to really fleshing this guy out. They didn't just make him a super cool killing machine, they actually gave him some humanity, and even a good sense of humor. You could actually relate to the him, and you believed in his mission. A lot of that was because of Brandon.

In case some of you are unaware [where have you been for 15 years?], Brandon Lee died during the making of this movie. In a way, that actually gives the movie an even MORE believable atmosphere, because we are watching a movie about a guy who died coming back from the dead..........and essentially, that's what this movie did to Brandon in real life. He passed away, and then returned one last time as Eric to show us what he was capable of. Kinda ironic, huh?

Other than Brandon [who was pretty cute in this may i add] , the other films strong point were the visuals. It's a beautifully Gothic looking film, lots of shadows, lots of rain, and lots of Victorian architecture. There are some great camera shots in this too, Alex Proyas [the Director] does this style of movie well, he went even further with it in Dark City, another cool movie.

The final key to this movie working so well, is the soundtrack. One of the most well known soundtracks around, i remember it being MASSIVE when it was released alongside the movie. The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Thrill Kill Kult, there's a whole bunch of early 90's industrial Goth bands lending their tunes to the film. The original score written by one of my favourite movie composers, Graham Revell, is quite nice too.

There have been a few sequels over the years to The Crow, none of which you should really bother with unless you're REALLY curious about what else they did with the franchise. They all fall flat for the most part, and Brandon REALLY made this role his own, so you don't really care about seeing anyone else star in these films. Well, at least i don't, Brandon was it for me.

The Crow is one of those movies nearly everyone has seen. Brandon's death before the films release brought the crowds in droves, but it was his fantastic portrayal and the dark and imaginative world around him in the movie that made people stay. It's dark, sad, loud, violent and very entertaining. I LOVE IT!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Favourite Films Of ALL TIME! #2Showgirls [1995]
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon

"You can fuck me when you love me"

I've been talking about this movie for the last 15 years. I feel like it's been indented into my brain like no other film i've seen ever! It's definitely one of my top 5 most watched films ever, i've seen it countless times and can re-enact every line from start to finish. "WHY is this one of your favourite films" you ask? well...........because it's fucking hilarious!

The story follows a young slut named Nomi Malone who hitchhikes her way to Vegas to become a dancer. Of course by dancer, i mean STRIPPER! and of course Nomi HATES working as a stripper, but looks like she's having a ball on stage every night showing her vagina to the world. One night she meets popular Vegas showgirl Queen Cristal Connors, and Cristal falls in LUST with her and gets her an audition for the show she headlines called, GODDESS.
Nomi thrusts and pouts her way through her audition, and Cristal ensures she gets the part [so she can have her around and toy with her]. Cristal REALLY does toy with her........i'm talking about seductive dance rehearsals, flirting lunch dates and Nomi getting her top ripped off and getting her nipples massaged by Cristal. Yes, it's that sleazy.

As Nomi goes through her showgirl journey she starts taking drugs and screwing her way to the top. She starts to become conniving and dangerous like Cristal, she loses herself in her career. Eventually, her hunger to be the #1 showgirl consumes her and she completely becomes a new person, pushing away the people around her and surrounding herself with the "wrong" types of friends.
Once she reaches the top, she gets a big reality check, and her backstabbing ways bring a lot of bad things her way. Nomi finds herself in some nasty predicaments and it's up to her to set things right.

It already sounds tacky enough, but seriously, you need to see it to believe it. Amidst the sleazy storyline, we have ridiculously laughable one liners, awful acting and some of the most unsexiest dancing on Earth. Oddly enough though, it all seems to WORK in the films favour. It's a giant mish mosh of memorable scenes and characters that you want to keep watching no matter how stupid it all seems.Showgirls has become a cult classic for a reason, and it's because it truly is ONE OF A KIND. You won't find anything like it. It's a pop culture STAPLE of cinema, and it's got a massive world wide fan base.
The movie bombed at the box office and got awful reviews back in the day. On video however, it ended up making a whopping $100 million dollars. That's the type of market it was made for, the sleazy cult video market. Similar to all those 80's horror films that found success in local video stores back in the day, Showgirls became the perfect at home guilty pleasure for people looking to be entertained by crazy one liners and soft core porn nudity. The viewers wanted to hate it, but they couldn't. The movie was so ridiculous, but people couldn't look away! It was an unstoppable video force! It was labeled the worst best film of the 90's.

Once DVD launched in the early 2000's, Showgirls had another great run with home viewing. It's had 3 different released since it launched on DVD and will most likely have a few more down the line. One version of the DVD even came in a specially packaged box that featured playing cards, shot glasses and a "pin the tassel on the breast" wall game. An entire movie experience has been created around this movie, drinking games, friend gatherings, it's the ultimate party movie.

As an avid fan of the film, i make an effort to watch it annually. And every time i slip it into my DVD player and press play, i have a ball all over again. It never seems to get old, in fact, it just gets better and better. Every time i meet a person who's never seen it before, and i know they may find the magic in it, i let them borrow it..........and without fail, they are mesmerized by it. Sure, it's for all the wrong reasons, but that's the magic of Showgirls!
Even critics over the years have warmed up to the pop culture impact that this film has made. Quentin Tarantino himself labeled it a success as "the only exploitation film made by MGMT in the last 20 years", and we all know how much he loves those types of films.

It's ironic how some movies live on forever as some of the greatest works cinema has ever seen, and others take on their OWN unique brand of infamy and live on as cult classics. Showgirls is one of those creations, and it will be brilliant and stupid until the end of time.

If you want a little more, check out the Podcast for Showgirls i did with fellow Showgirls fan Marcey, here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To the floorArtist: Jessica Mauboy
Album: Been Waiting [2009 Album Re-Issue]

FINALLY, an r&b singer Australia can be proud of! We haven't had a distinct voice in r&b music here for a while, and we CERTAINLY haven't had one who was an actual success. Jessica Mauboy has thankfully changed all that with her debut album!!!! Why is it good?...........well, for one thing, it has the production value of an American artist. Don't get me wrong, there are some Aussie acts making some good music out there, but as far as pop and r&b artists go, we really don't have a good selection. Rock and dance is where a lot of the better Aussie stuff is found, the rest of us pop lovers are left with some cheap and very LOCAL sounding singers [Nat Bass, Rickie Lee ect.].
Not only is the production on the album good, but Jess has a killer voice and from what i've seen on tv, is FANTASTIC live. She's a great package, and i'm surprised and happy at how well she is doing.

'Been Waiting' has actually been out for sometime now. It came out at the end of 2008, and although i have been listening to the album since then, it's taken a while for me to fully appreciate what Jess has to offer as an artist. The album itself doesn't break any new ground. It's fairly standard r&b/pop, and she has the voice of about 10 other U.S r&b singers out there, but........ that doesn't mean the songs aren't good, and some of them are REALLY good.
I guess the one song she is MOST well known for is her first single 'Running Back' which features Flo Rida [to everyones surprise]. It was a big single, and she was lucky to have such an international name attached to the song. I'm sure it helped in giving her a bit of a push as far as audience appeal goes. Since then she's had a whole string of strong singles, like the Rihanna inspired 'Burn', the 90's sounding 'Been Waiting', the club track 'Up/Down' and my favourite off the record, 'Because', which is a BEAUTIFUL ballad.

The album isn't free of duds, there are a couple dull moments, the main one being her cover of 'Time After Time'. Ballads, 'Used2B' and 'Let Me Be Me' left me feeling a bit bored as well. The rest of the album tracks aside from the singles are still good though. 'To The Floor' is a sexy club track, 'Empty' reminds me a little of a Justin Timberlake song, and 'Back2U' is a bit fluffy, but still cute.

The re-issue of the album has a few b-sides and remixes attached to it, most of them good. It's a shame the bonus song 'Magical' didn't make it on the re-issue. It appeared on the 'Running Back' single and it's my second favourite song by her. Would have been cool seeing that get a bit more exposure. In fact, if you gather the album tracks, and b-side tracks together, you have a quite a lot of good stuff to sift through. That's how i'm rating this album, based on EVERYTHING i've heard from her, not JUST the original edition of the record.

Overall, it's a very decent effort for a debut album, AND for an Australian Idol runner up. Let's face it, Idol hasn't really given us a lot to brag about has it? not from me anyway. I hope Jess sticks around for a while and coughs up a few more records down the line. I like her vibe, i hope to hear more. I look forward to seeing her open for Beyonce on her Australian tour in September!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Favourite Films of ALL TIME! #1Lost Highway [1997]
Directed By: David Lynch
Starring: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette

"Dick Laurent is dead"

I've been into David Lynch for years. I think i may have been the only kid in high school who actually knew who the guy was. I've always been that way though, really diverse in my taste of things. And i mean.....diiiiverse. For every Britney Spears song i loved, i loved a Marilyn Manson song. For every teen high school movie i loved, i loved an indie noir [i spelled that right, right? lol] flick. That's where Lynch comes in. He fits PERFECTLY into my weird side, always has.
I've enjoyed all his movies, but it's Lost Highway that's stuck out for me the most over the years.

I'm not sure HOW to describe the storyline to you guys. It's not the most......linear written movie [as usual with Lynch]. Basically, we follow 2 different story lines that later merge together into one big......err.......CLUSTER FUCK. The first story we follow is of a jazz saxophone nightclub player named Fred [Bill Pullman], who also has a girlfriend named Renee [Patricia Arquette]. They receive 2 messages over the course of a couple days. The first is an intercom message by someone who says "Dick Laurent is dead", the other message is a package that arrives at their front door step. Inside this package is a video tape, and this video contains footage of their house. Over the next few days they receive more video tapes, each one showing more and more of their home, the INSIDE of their home, and lastly, Fred and Renee sleeping in bed. YES, it's CREEPY AS FUCK. One night, Fred runs into a "mystery man" who he finds out is Dick Laurent. Soon enough, another video tape arrives, and this time it features footage of FRED killing his wife RENEE!!!!!..........Fred freaks out, gets arrested for her murder and is sent to prison.

Weird enough? gets stranger.....

One day the guards go to check up on Fred in his cell, but..........the man in the cell isn't Fred anymore, it's a guy named Pete!!!! [Balthazar Getty]. Confused and weirded out, Pete is released from prison and is sent on his merry way. One day Pete meets Alice [also played by Patricia Arquette], she's the mistress of a crime honcho named Mr. Eddy. Pete and Alice become chummy [eg. they have loads of sex] and eventually they find themselves trying to get together some cash so they can run away together. What happens after that is a serious case of mixed identities [Patricia is 2 people for fucks sake!], murder, sex, and a whole mix of events that all comes to a climax at a cabin in the middle of the desert.As you can see, it's a heavy story with twists and turns and a whole lot of shit that makes ZERO sense. Parts of it i could follow, other parts i couldn't. What i took from the movie though, was that it had an underlying theme about IDENTITY in it. WHY that theme was chosen for the movie i don't know, and whether i'm right about what this movie is about is another thing all together. That's the beauty of Lynch though. He makes you think, and most of the time, you never get the full picture.

Visually, the movie is very dark in tone. Signature dark hallways, red curtains and eerie atmosphere are provided by the bucket load in this movie. There is some serious creepy imagery as well.
Another great part of the film is the soundtrack! Produced by Lynch and Trent Reznor [from Nine Inch Nails], it features music from Ramstein, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins. AWESOME!

Is this movie for everyone? certainly not. And out of all of Lynch's films, i don't think this one is his most accessible at all! But, if you're a little patient, open minded, and interested in something that's dark, complex, and over sexed! then you may get something out of this movie. It's amazing how Lynch has the ability to create films that can make very little sense, but can still captivate you enough to sit and watch his mind unfold in front of you.

There's an eerie and sexy feel to this film that just DOES it for me. It's always a toss up between Lost Highway and Muholland Drive when i think about what my favourite Lynch movie is. Overall, Lost Highway's tone and characters leave me feeling a lot more unsettled and curious about what it is that i'm watching. With Lost Highway, you don't know WHAT'S around that creepy dark door at the end of the hallway, and you can't wait to find out.

Pod me!
Marcey and i POD-OUT again. This time, over the cut classic SHOWGIRLS. It's a long listen, but well worth it for anyone who's seen the movie and was wondering what the HELL was going on. Excuse the laughter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My movies are YOUR movies!I figured i may as well start blogging about films that i consider my all time favourites. I was originally going to do a top 20, but fuck it! I'll just throw them all on here whenever i feel like it. They're in no particular order, so don't worry about wondering where these flicks sit in my "Top 10" list or what not. That list always changes anyway.

It should be noted that i'm not blogging about these films to look like a movie aficionado, or to impress people with movies that have world wide acclaim amongst critics and the movie elite, no. This list is based purely on films that appeal to ME in any way shape or form. Whether it's based on the fact that the cast is perfect, that the acting is superb, or more importantly.......whether or not it entertained the shit out of me. That's not to say i won't have some classics pop up, i will. Just think of it as a geek list though.

I'll post my first movie up this week. So keep an eye out.