Thursday, November 16, 2017

Williams


This popped up in Netflix. I was on it immediately. It's an hour and forty five minute documentary about the Williams racing team in F1.

The doc is high quality. It centers around Sir Frank Williams (obviously), his daughter and Williams Team Principle, Claire, and thirdly his now deceased wife, Ginny. There's a good amount of Ginny's story told in her own words. She wrote a book about the last twenty years with Frank and dictated much of it onto micro cassettes. And there's a lot of personal interviews with Claire and Frank shot just for the doc. They ask some questions that get rather personal and emotional. The movie isn't a total fluff piece. It highlights flaws and struggles of Frank Williams in particular, as well as obviously highlighting the supreme triumphs of the team throughout the years.

You've got some interviews with the likes of Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, as well as a variety of the Williams' good friends.

You learn that Claire's brother is a little whiny bitch and you can tell within ten seconds why he's not TP.

Anyhow, it's a good story. You learn a lot about Williams' back story. And you learn a lot about Frank as a person. He's a hard nut!

Recommended. Gets emotional at times, btw.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth


I like music. I like documentaries. I like music documentaries.

Foo Fighters' "Back and Forth" doc just popped up in my Netflix feed so I watched it last night. Marie joined in and commented that it was a well done movie. I concur. Dave Grohl's been doing this stuff so long now that he knows what to put out and what not to. He knows how to cultivate his brand. The dude has a very high bar.

This movie tracks the inception of Foo Fighters up until the Wasting Light album. There are interviews with all the band members and tons of archival footage. When you're Dave Grohl there's no shortage of cameramen hanging around.

It's a slick movie and something that any Foo Fighters fan would love.

Dig it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records


Brent told me about this book. It had totally slipped my radar. Anyhow, I was on Amazon Prime in second and one-click-ordered that shit.

I had an unusual run of free time for a few consecutive nights in a row and was able to fly through it very quickly. I found it really engrossing as a metal nerdario. Metalheads are part historians / part archaeologists. That's just in our blood. So reading books like this is fundamental to feed that quest for knowledge.

You learn a lot about Metal Blade, Brian Slagel, and a host of historical metal tidbits. The Metallica stuff is especially illuminating. But what's coolest of all is really the nostalgia of the 80's and 90's and thinking back to the pre-internet days of discovering new bands etc. It was like a big ass low-fi global scavenger hunt. I'm not gonna wax on about how it was so much better, cuz I like going to youtube and bandcamp just as much as the next guy. But there's a certain magic that just isn't there anymore. Not talking about the music. Cuz the music is still amazing. But in the quest. In the discovery. The chase is just so much easier these days. And like Lemmy said, the chase is better than the catch...


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom


I believe it was my boy, Clint Ford, who recommended I read this. It's a gnarly story about Polish POW's who escape a hard labor camp in Siberia during WWII. They walk to the camp and they walk away from the camp. They walk thousands of god damn miles in this book. It puts LOTR to shame.

Anyhow, walking aside, this is a great book about the will to live and the will to conquer. It's about love, sacrifice, selflessness, friendship, and being a complete bad ass. Oh, and death. Lots of that going on.

Evidently the book was made into a movie which I've since added to my Netflix queue. I'll peep that at some point.

I've read some stories and watched some documentaries about bad ass people doing bad ass things. Solo treks across Antarctica. Plenty of mountaineering adventures gone horribly awry. People do some really brave and mind-blowing things in the face of certain death. But the people who escaped the prison camp in this book take the cake. They're next level.

Highly humbling and inspirational.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

George Harrison: Living in the Material World


Who doesn't want to watch 3.5 hours of George Harrison? C'mon now.

Scorsese released this bio in 2011. Mercifully he chopped it into two parts. The first half focuses mostly on George in context of the Beatles. And the second half obviously charts George and his quest for spirituality post-Beatlemania.

There's no narrator to hold your hand through the doc. It's just edited together via archival footage and interviews shot for the movie. There are reoccurring personalities throughout the film like Eric Clapton and the two remaining Beatles. But a good deal of it is George himself. Being a Beatle there was never a shortage of cameras around. I believe it took Scorsese's team five years to comb through all the footage they amassed to cull what they needed to tell the story.

I've been watching it on and off for the last few days. It doesn't demand a continuous viewing or even two viewings. I found it quite easy to pick up as if you were reading a book with a couple days in between sessions.

It's not super compelling, but it is good. I'm sure a hardcore Beatles fan would enjoy the hell out of it. I've just never been a huge fan of their work overall. And I found their solo efforts pretty dodgy to be honest. But I digress...this documentary is interesting and it's well done. Scorsese doesn't fuck about.

The Walking Dead: 28 A Certain Doom


Another installment of the Walking Dead. This one was action packed from opening to closing. Lots of twists, turns, and edge-of-your-seat moments. The psychological twists and dangers are far more dangerous than the Walkers.

A main character snuffs it in this one. It's a really enjoyable read. Not because a main character kicks the bucket, but just because there's a lot of action crammed into the story. You'll fly through it. Kind of left you with a bit of a clean slate, to be honest. Not sure what's in store next...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Generation Iron 2



I really quite liked the first Generation Iron. Four years later and here's the second installment. Where as the first one focused on professional bodybuilders competing for Mr. O, this one is more about the non-professional space. Calum Von Moger and Rich Piana (RIP) are spotlighted, for instance.

Vlad goes over to the Middle East to see what's going in Kuwait. And even pops over to India with Kai Greene. It's a typically international overview and the production quality is top notch. There's some good representation from female bodybuilders and overall Vlad does a good job of exploring bodybuilding outside of the narrow focus that the first movie had. He definitely broadens his horizons and knows how to play up the differences between the characters he profiles. The movie flows very well.

If you care about bodybuilding then you'll dig this.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Harry Benson: Shoot First


Here's a bloke I'd never actually heard of before. I was on the plane back from Scotland scouring the in-flight entertainment to see if there was anything I had missed on the way over. Turns out there was this hidden gem.

Harry Benson is a Scottish photographer who's shot just about every famous fucking photograph in the world. The Beatles, Ali, the Kennedys, Warhol, MLK, wars, famines, assassinations, sports, fashion, art, this dude covered everything, all the time, everywhere. I'm surprised he didn't just happen to be on the moon when Armstrong took his first step.

This is a good documentary about the man behind the lens. He's funny. He's bold and brash. He's a good dude. And he's incredibly talented. You'd be hard pressed to find a living photographer who's documented so many iconic moments in history and created so many iconic photographs in the process. Literally amazing stuff.

Recommended.

Oasis: Supersonic


It's been a year since this came out. Time freakin flies, man.

I was one the plane to Scotland and there was honestly fuck all to watch. I loved this documentary but would have preferred to have dug into some new stuff instead. Anyway, I decided to watch it again instead of Baywatch the Movie or Fast and the Furious 20 or whatever...

It's still a brilliant doc. Loved it all over again. Still highly recommended.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sound City


This popped up in my Amazon feed yesterday. I'd heard great things about it so I checked it out. I'm a Dave Grohl fan and I can nerd out to recording processes, so it was a no-brainer.

It's a two hour doc about a famed recording studio in Cali called Sound City. Truthfully, I didn't know about all the records it was responsible for other than Smells Like Teen Spirit (which sounds incredible). Turns out Sound City was a dump, but it had a fabled Neve mixing board and a live room that had magical acoustic properties. I won't really spoil the details, but it's neat stuff.

Dave does a good job telling the story of the owners, employees, and artists. The audio mix is great (of course) and overall it's just really down-to-earth and captivating.

If you like music you'll like this film. Plain and simple.