Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nobody's Daughter [2010]

It's been a good 4 years since Courtney Love released her first solo album, 'America's Sweetheart'. It's been even LONGER since her band, 'Hole', released an album too, over a decade in fact. When i heard a new Hole album was being released this year, i was surprised, but excited. 'Celebrity Skin' and 'Live Through This' are two of my favourite albums ever, so i definitely had high expectations for the new album. Sadly, now that 'ive heard the new release a whole bunch of times, i can't say that it's left any sort of major impression on me.

It suffers the same fate as 'America's Sweetheart', which is that it lacks a lot of hooks. There's some nice melodies and lyrics on the new album, but there's nothing that really GRABS you in a lot of the songs. They simply start and finish with no pay off. In 'America's Sweetheart' it worked a bit better, and the album itself never went through any final polishing, so the rough sound and slightly hookless songs worked. On the new album though, it comes across as a bit too much of a dull mess.
The album isn't a complete loss, there are some good songs on it, mainly found in the first half of the tracklist. It starts off on a good note with the title song, 'Nobody's Daughter', then kicks into 'Skinny Little Bitch' and 'Honey'. All enjoyable enough. 'Pacific Coast Highway' is next, average yet listenable, but a good indicator of where the bulk of the album is going to be heading next, which isn't anywhere interesting. My favourite song from the album, 'Samantha', is next, and that's pretty much where my interest in this album comes to a stop. What you'll find after that song is one droney, messy sounding, out dated ballad after another.

My main issue with this album is how much it showcased to me how truly DONE this band is. They have some GREAT work in their back catalogue, but that era of music, and their sound, has really run it's course. It's tired, it's not fun anymore, and it's gone a far as it can. Courtney sings the SAME melodies, hits the SAME strings on her guitar, and just recycles the same thing she's been doing for her entire career. There's no growth and there's no passion anymore. It's just Courtney on auto pilot.

If you're new to this band, i wouldn't have this record anywhere near you. Start off with one of the older albums first. If you're a fan of them like me, i'm not sure what you'll make of it. Some fans love EVERYTHING Courtney does, so many of you may enjoy it, i on the other hand found it really lazy and uninspiring. Maybe if Courtney had more focus on music rather than drugs and plastic surgery, the album would have a bit more soul in it. As it stands though, it's simply a shadow of a once great band, which has replaced angsty emotional driven grungy rock, with re-hashed production and noisy vapid screaming from it's lead singer.

Time to hang it up Courtney.

My Favourite Music Videos #2

Lil' Kim - How Many Licks
Uploaded by AtlanticRecords. - Explore more music videos.

Lil' Kim - How Many Licks

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DVD Roundup: April, 2010
New Moon [Blu-ray]
Not sure why we got this 3 weeks later than the rest of the world, but the wait is finally over!!!! Will enjoy sitting through this beauteous adventure again. And omg! the special features were great! I love a good long doco about the making of a film. NEW MOON!.

Paranormal Activity [Blu-ray]
Been looking forward to seeing this again. They really should have included ALL of the different endings on this disc, but oddly enough, they didn't. Comes with a commentary from the director, will DEFINITELY check that out. Creeptastic!

Silent Hill [Blu-ray]
Had to order this from the UK since it isn't on Blu-ray here. I've always loved this. Dark and twisted, with a great ending. It looked beautiful in HD. Good extras too.

Where The Wild Things Are [Blu-ray]
Haven't watched it again JUST yet. It's such a special movie, it needs to be seen when i'm in the perfect mood for it. The features look a bit shit, hopefully they're decent.

My Favourite Music Videos #1

30 Seconds To Mars: The Kill [Bury Me]
This video will only make sense if you've seen The Shining. If not, you may be a little "wtf" at the whole thing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kick-Ass [2010]
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Mindy Macready
Directed by: Mathew Vaughn

Dave Lizweski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super hero, even though he has no powers, training, or meaningful reason to do so.

Whew! talk about blowing my mind. Could another film in 2010 top this? time will tell....but i'm guessing probably not. I've never read the comic book this is based on, so i won't be able to compare the two in my review, i do hear it's a faithful enough adaptation though, with a few minor changes, so fans of the comic should be happy with the result on screen. Either way, whether it's true to the book or not, as a stand alone film, this REALLY lives up to it's name.

For the first half of the film, it was pretty much what i expected. Quirky comic drama, with smart dialogue and colourful characters. I was enjoying the film, and could see it's mass appeal, but it wasn't reaching any MASSIVE great heights for me. Not to diss it or anything though, it was smart and funny, but just not changing my life.
As the film went along though, and as we entered the second section of the story, things started to really get impressive. I thought the comedy lite themes would play out till the end, and obviously they do mostly, but the story also gets a little dark, and surprisingly emotional. Once REAL danger falls upon the characters, you start to realize you actually care about them a lot. I was very emotionally invested in what was happening, and the movie was getting more and more dramatic and interesting as the climax built. It was a great direction to take the story.

The last 20 minutes of the film was breathtaking, not only for the action, but also for the music and direction. Mathew Vaughn chews this up and spits it back out with so much FORCE you barely get a chance to take a breathe before the credits roll.
After having your eye balls burned off by the end, they throw in one last over the top gag to remind you it's all in good fun. It's such a perfect mix of comedy and drama.

Kick-Ass is the most original comic book film i've seen since 'Watchmen', and like Watchmen, it's not for kids. Although in saying that, i would have loved it as a kid, but i'm a bit fucked up.
The only downside to this flick will be depending on what STYLE of movie you like. Some people may find the strong violence and language in it a bit off putting. I've read some reviews who felt a little unsure about seeing a 12 year old girl shoot and knive her way through a crowd of villains as she calls them "cunts" and "mother fuckers". Personally, that's MY sorta style [lolz], so it didn't bother me one bit. In fact, i fucking LOVED it.

Best film of 2010 so far. SEE IT. SEE IT. SEE IT. SEE IT. It's a BEAST!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

3D Schmee Dee!
Look, i'm all for TECHNOLOGY and what it has to offer. I'm a techno whore, i love it. But there is a limit to how much fuckery i can take, and lately, this "coming soon in 3D" trend that's happening is starting to really bore me.
3D should ONLY be implemented if the actual film is CREATED in 3D, like Avatar for instance, or the new Tron film, Tron Legacy. That's when the medium has some sort of creative substance, and gives the film added visual DEPTH. All these new films transforming into 3D flicks AFTER being filmed though, that's some serious bullshit right there. Why? because it DOESN'T work!. It just looks like card board cut outs, because the 3D was added as a bonus, so it just looks like a children's pop up book. If i want to see that, i'll just go down to my local library and sit my ass down in the kids reading area.

I made an exception for Alice In Wonderland when that came out, because i thought, even 3D as an after thought would look decent in that flick, since it was all so fantastical looking. At times it did look decent, but was it really needed??? no, i wouldn't say it was. Now EVERYTHING is 3D, everyone's rushing to edit their films into 3D format to roll in more cash. The latest being Clash of The Titans, which has been getting a very negative response in regards to how POINTLESS the whole 3D is in the film.

Look, i get it, it's Hollywood, it's about money, they found a new toy, they wanna stick it on everything, i understand, but really............give me a fucking break. Next up we have Step Up 3 in 3D for Gods sake. Yes, Step Up, the DANCING movie.....in 3D? why??? what do i want to see poking out of the screen? a break dance spin? a ballet kick? what???........no.
At LEAST the upcoming Resident Evil 4 was FILMED USING A 3D CAMERA, so they aren't pasting it on afterwards and giving everyone the finger.

At the end of the day, the films themselves are being released in both 2D and 3D, so i HAVE the option to ignore the 3D. When i saw Alice, i chose to use it, when i saw Clash, i ignored it, and that's a good option to have. But when someone like James Cameron works his ass off for nearly a decade developing a new3D format to better the VAST and INTRICATELY DETAILED world of Avatar, it's a bit sad to see every studio clinging to the technology and using it in such a CHEAP way to bring in the masses. If you want it 3D, make it 3D, use the 3D camera to film it. Don't dust a bit of computer 3D onto it like shitty glitter sprinkles and tell me it's "OMG 3D" when it's just a bit of scenery sticking out a little further than usual.

The 3D effects when used right can look really impressive, and it's a shame we aren't savouring that and using it when it's needed and not OVER DOING IT ALL. We've jumped from action films to DANCING movies in 3D, what's next? the new Julia Robert's and Jude Law romantic comedy where we get to see Julia's horse teeth in ALL NEW DIMENSIONAL GLORY?????

Fuck off.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Starring: Some Swedish people
Directed by: Some Swedish guy

A Swedish thriller based on Stieg Larsson's novel about a journalist [named Mikail] and young female hacker [named Lisbeth], trying to solve a 40 year old mystery about a missing girl.

It's really satisfying when you sit and watch a movie that turns out to be a very FULFILLING experience. This is what 'Girl' turned out being.
I wasn't sure what to expect, the books this new movie trilogy is based on are HUGELY popular, and the first film of the series has been getting strong reviews, so i knew i was in for a decent film.
The movie was exactly what i suspected it would be, a twisting and turning mystery thriller that makes you sit and think for a good 2 and a half hours. Because of that, you certainly need to be in the right mood to watch it. It isn't really something you just THROW ON, but it's not a HARD movie to understand either. There's a lot of story to get through and it isn't done in a short period of time, you definitely need to pay attention to what's going on.
That's what i loved about it though, it was meaty. There were a lot of story lines to get through, and it was all executed in a really entertaining way. It did take a little while to kick into gear, and it didn't hit a faster pace until the two main leads team up closer towards the middle of the film. That isn't a major issue though, because following Lisbeth's story in the beginning was one of my favourite parts of the film. In fact, i could have watched the whole movie centred around her character.

The movie wasn't in anyway mind blowing, or OVERLY impressive, but it was a very consistent thriller that unfolds at a good slow pace and leaves you wanting to find out more. Throw in a well written and layered female lead who has good chemistry with her male co-star, and you have a solid story all tied up in big package.

If you're in the mood to put your feet up and watch a good crime thriller, this is the perfect movie to go with. You won't be disappointed. I look forward to seeing the next 2 films in the series.

Keep an eye out for...
Nicki Minaj: I've become completely obsessed with this chic over the last week since i discovered her. I've heard her name thrown around a few times online, and finally decided to check out her work. Most of it's good, but fairly standard hip hop [available in various mixtape form], but it's her debut album that you should really be anticipating, and if her debut single is anything to go by, we may finally have a new female rapper on the charts!. Here's her video for 'Massive Attack', fucking immense!:

Natalia Kills: She describes her music as "dark pop", she also directs her own music videos and is even doing a short film as a side project for her album [out this year]. Here's her first music video, i love it: