Monday, April 30, 2012

Classic Albums: Paranoid


Clearly Black Sabbath would be nowhere if it weren't for glasses with purple lenses. 

This is for the single, not the album. But Japanese artwork is so freakin cool.

Inside the Circle

For someone who didn't dance at their own wedding, it's odd that I actually really wish I could breakdance.

I watch anything I come across that has to do with graffiti or breaking. Most doc's are crappy and low-budget. This one doesn't break the mold. But once you get through a certain amount of it you're compelled to see it through and see how everything works out for the dudes involved.

I absolutely loved Planet B-Boy. That shit was a top drawer doc. Inside the Circle is more like a school project.

It follows the lives of three dudes from Texas who wear super baggy clothes and talk like they have a mouthful of marbles and a 100 word vocabulary. Romeo is an entrepreneurial gangsta b-boy, Omar is a very talented but arrogant b-boy, and Josh is a juvenile delinquent b-boy who could have gotten somewhere if it wasn't for his myopic world view and lizard brain.

Skip this, watch Planet B-Boy instead.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Classic Albums: A Night at the Opera

Freddie Mercury had the greatest voice in rock history. Freddie wrote the Bohemian Rhapsody, which is probably the greatest song in rock history. Freddie was arguably one of the greatest frontmen in rock history. With this in mind, I'd venture to say that Freddie Mercury was the greatest musician to ever live.

When I was watching him play piano in this documentary it almost brought a tear to my eye knowing that someone of this caliber was taken away from us prematurely. Someone who affected so many people. It's a tragedy of epic proportions that didn't really sink home at the time. But now, in hindsight with a bit more maturity I can see the tragedy for what it was.

I'm not even the biggest Queen fan by a long shot. But you'd have to be blind not to recognize the band for their genius. The cool thing about this little doc is it let's you understand how Queen worked a bit better. They were always a super eclectic band, but I didn't realize that each member wrote their own songs and had creative control of those songs. So it wasn't like a typical band where there's one main song-writer or in many cases where it's a very collaborative process. It was more like each of the 4 members brought forth their own independent songs and the band agreed to collectively play them. Almost like 4 solo artists who band together so they can play live. I'm over-simplying it, but you can see that's why Queen was so eclectic. I can't believe I'm going to compare Queen to DarkThrone, but that's how they work, too. Each dude writes a song and it gets recorded as-is, so their albums sound pretty eclectic as a result.

Like in all of these Classic Albums doc's, the coolest part is hearing the Producer remix the songs. You get to hear the amazing vocal harmonies that Queen would put down. Evidently Freddie had a ridiculously uncanny way of being able to repeat his lines pitch-perfect time after time after time in the studio.

Queen > the Beatles.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gone in 60 Seconds

Lemme tell ya...classic motorcycle movies are ten thousand times better than classic car movies.

I've wanted to see this for a little while now. Tarantino gets you psyched on classic car movies through Death Proof. You wanna see where all that awesomeness comes from. Well, it comes from Tarantino, not from Gone in 60 Seconds. I genuinely don't think there was one legitimate actor in the film. I think the stunt driver was also the Star, Writer, Director and Producer of the film. There's no artistic merit to be found. Anywhere.

The score sucked real hard. It was shitty sort of Fusion stuff. It's 1974, you can't be hurting for some good fucking rock music to accompany your 40 minute car chase. No need to use the awful score, man.

The audio sucked. The editing was alright. But this movie was supposed to be about a car chase. That car chase should have righted any prior wrongs. But as you can guess, it didn't. It wasn't exactly a boring chase, but it wasn't that good, either.

Was there anything good about this? Well, there are some cool Rolls Royces, Mustangs, Challengers, Chargers, a Maserati, Ferraris, and a bunch more sweet 70's American Muscle. But I can google that shit. Don't make me watch 90 minutes of crap just to catch a glimpse of a sweet old Roller.

I'm sure you'd honestly be better off watching Angelina Jolie in the 2000 remake. That's what I think of this.

Oh well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Classic Albums: Nevermind

I watched this at lunch the day after watching the Iron Maiden installment.

I had tickets to see Nirvana in Scotland. Then Kurt killed himself a few days before the show. I remember seeing the report on the news and calling my best friend at the time to tell him. Sucked that I never got to see em. Couldn't he have waited another week? Oh wait, couldn't she have waited another week? Whatever. I don't get into all that conspiracy shit.

But I do get into "Nevermind." A truly classic album, just as the title proclaims. I found this doc more insightful than the Maiden one. Not saying it was better, but just a bit more revealing. It's really cool to see the Producer isolate the tracks on this one. You hear Grohl's backing vocals and all this cool shit. I liked hearing Krist and Dave's input and recollections of the time period.

Definitely spend the 50 minutes watching this. I wish it was longer.

Classic Albums: Number of the Beast

I watched this at lunch at work. Great way to spend your time!

I saw that a bunch of "Classic Albums" documentaries were added to Netflix so I started working my way through them. I gotta say that this was very well done. It lets the artists and the people involved tell the story. It goes through each song on "Number of the Beast" and they discuss how they were written, recorded, or what they mean.

The best bits in any of these "Classic Albums" doc's are when the Producer is fiddling with the tracks on the board. Martin Birch isolates each player and reveals how things are layered etc. It's insightful and any nerd will appreciate it.

I'm gonna keep this brief. These doc's aren't ground-breaking, but they're well done and worth nerding out to.

Up the Irons!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

I don't know if hillbilly horror is an actual subgenre of horror movies or if it's something I made up....but I love movies like The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, House of 1,000 Corpses and the whole TCM franchise. In my opinion this has to be the movie that's influenced Rob Zombie most in his film making career. The Sawyer family are very similar to the Firefly family. I believe it's where RZ got his eye for what a horror film should look like. He's a very detailed director when it comes to horror atmosphere.

And it's the details that make this movie so cool. Every scene seems to take place inside an actual nightmare. From the dilapidated radio station to the Sawyer clans underground lair. In the behind-the-scenes featurette, Caroline "Stretch" Williams stated it was easy to act terrified because the sets were actually really scary. Then there's Bill Moseley (another connection with RZ), his portrayal of Choptop is so freaky and bizarre. This was his first real role and he did such a believable job playing a cannibalistic, psycho-lunatic, Vietnam vet. His dialogue comes off so natural that I wondered if a lot of it was ad libbed 

TCM2 is not anywhere near as intense or creepy as the original. But it is still a great film with it's own creepy vibe and charm. I'll even go so far as to recommend this to the Prez. 

Tobe Hooper is a horror icon. TCM 1 & 2, Poltergeist, Funhouse and Salem's Lot. nuff said.

The Saw Is Family.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Elite Squad 2

Well, I watched Elite Squad 2 hot on the heels of Elite Squad 1. And like Hammer of Doom, I think I preferred the second installment.

This movie answered some of my criticisms of the first one. Namely, it created a much deeper connection between the viewer and the characters. You cared more, and as such you were affected when shitty things happened to good people. But stoked when shitty things happened to shitty people.

However, the story line for this one was considerably more political, and so inevitably a bit more boring. Let's be honest. Fuck politics. But obviously it was more shocking! Cuz what's more fucked up, corrupt and brutal than politics? The irony is that the drug dealers you detest in the first movie look like choir boys compared to "the enemy within" the governmental walls of Elite Squad 2. You sympathize with the drug dealers simply by virtue of detesting the corrupt government. Brazil is rotten from the inside out. It's a scary ass place.

I found the Directing, Editing and Photography pretty similar to the first one. There wasn't much of a departure in overall aesthetic. If anything, they got a bit slicker in the second movie, but not in a bad way. Just a bit more mature in the visual presentation.

If you're gonna watch one, you should watch both. Do it up, ladies and gentlemen.

(Simply including this video for Nas's reference to "grindin', hittin' Brazilian dimes from behind." You already posted video links to both films in your review, so why not...We run a classy joint.)

Good to see Seu Jorge in the film, too. Dig his music.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Elite Squad

Well, I watched this based on your glowing review, Doom. And I wasn't disappointed.

I think you summed it up well when you compared Brazil to another planet. It's truly beyond our comprehension. If Rio is anything close to how it's depicted in Elite Squad, City of God or Bus 174 then growing up in Rio is some HARD shit. The corruption is beyond anything we can comprehend, and we live in Detroit, for fuck's sake. It makes Detroit look like Shangri la. The drugs, the guns, and all those motherfuckers with curly hair. It's chaos AD.

Yeah, you know Sepultura should have done the soundtrack.

Anyway, I dug the film. I thought it took its sweet time for you to create any sort of legitimate connection to the characters, though. Even though it was exciting, it wasn't technically 'gripping' for me. Well, not until about 3/4 of the way through. With City of God, for instance, I felt an almost immediate connection. I was sucked right in and I cared right off the bat. The protagonists in this film have a tougher veneer and it's a bit harder to empathize or fully sympathize with them. But I was eventually won over. And I think that'll make the second movie all that much better. The seed has been planted.

Turns out the Director was the dude who did Bus 174. I didn't know that. But more troubling is the fact he's doing a RoboCop remake in 2013 and Gael Garcia Bernal is cast in the film. I'm a big fan of Bernal's acting and I'll probably see it for his involvement. He's one of my top 3 actors making legit movies these days.

I liked the cinematography, but the overall effect was a bit blown out. The colors didn't have that smooth warmth like they did in City of God. This was more of a high contrast, over-saturated vibe. Not as good. But whatever. Still dug it. The editing was well done. Yeah, it was a cool film. And I'll definitely watch the second one.

Life After Django Reinhardt

Watch this. It's only an hour long. It's well worth it.

Don't know if you listen to Django Reinhardt, but if not then you need to right that wrong. I was actually introduced to him by a dude I started talking to at Cliff Bell's one time. We were at a jazz show and this dude started talking to us about our favorite jazz musicians. We started talking about guitarist and I said I was a big Grant Green fan. He said I needed to peep Django. I did, and I was blown away.

This is a French documentary about Django's legacy in France. It's essentially introducing you to the preeminent guitarists who carry the torch for the late Reinhardt and keep his music and style alive.

It doesn't go into too much history. It's not a comprehensive bio by any means, but it's still cool. It's honestly more about the music than the man. Which is in keeping with Django's vibe anyway.

I love the passion by which these mustachioed old French men discuss Django's music. It's poetic, passionate and honest. I think it's really important that they all seem to recognize that Django's music is important, but finding their OWN voice is just as important. That's lost on too many people today. These guys are honoring his legacy but still trying to carve their own.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I'll keep this quick(er) than usual since we talked about this en route to Chicago. This is my kind of movie. Great sountrack, artistic style, superb violence, hot woman. Sooo cooool. During the opening credits I felt like I was back in the 80s watching an action movie in the back room at my dads video store. The director nailed the retro look and feel in my opinion.

Amy was swooning for Gosling...can't say I blame her. The dudes a total stud in this. He has no name. You know what other classic film icon had no name??
and again in...
My biggest gripe is that Ron Pearlman sucked.

So far this is my number one movie I've watched in 2012.


Great recommendation from the Prez!

"Consider us Odin's wolves, here to send you to your nailed god." With dialogue like that you know I'm going to love this. My favorite story out of the four (if I have to pick) was The Shield Maidens. I enjoyed seeing four strong pagan females crushing a horde of christian pillagers. My favorite story based on illustration was The Viking Art of Single Combat. They did a great job of giving them a crazed, hopped up on 'shrooms, "berserker style" look. I was rooting for Snoori the Black.

I don'r read many comics, but I need the rest of this series ASAP.

In Cold Blood

I read that it took Capote about 6 years to research and write this classic true crime novel.  Moving back and forth between the victims, the murderers and the law. It reads like fiction. You get to know all the key players quite well. And while you expect to feel some of the terror the victims felt, you don't expect to feel bad for the murderers...only to a certain degree though.

Killers loose on American highways. Thinking they got away with murder. They have dreams but the only means they have of achieving them is to be criminals. One is the brains and one is the brawn. Suspicion, fear and paranoia drive them apart, yet they have no one else left to turn to.

This is probably the best true crime novel I've ever read. That says a lot, as it's one of my favorite genres.
I'm definitely going to check out the film version of ICB, as well as the film Capote. I highly recommend this book.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flags of Our Fathers

Last year I watched Letters from Iwo Jima and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was pretty excited to see the its parter, Flags of Our Fathers. Unfortunately, it wasn't worth the wait.

Lemme start with the second film, Letters from Iwo Jima. It was dramatic, introspective, had a unique story and really impressed me with the plot and acting. Flags of Our Fathers was a lot more blockbuster-esque (for lack of a better term. It was more Hollywood.). The CGI wasn't fucking fooling me. I don't have an easy time accepting CGI in general. I much prefer models and things that have mass and occupy space. A CGI battleship in the distance looks like a CGI battleship in the distance. It just does, and it comes across as fake. Kinda ruins the integrity of the film for me. But moreover, I felt like lots of the scenes were filmed on small sets or had really fake lighting. Nothing felt real to me. I know a lot of it was shot in Iceland, but it just FELT fake.

I thought it was certainly interesting. The plot was different. I like the way it unfolded. The editing was good. The pacing was good. There were some emotional parts for sure. But it lacked the tension and depth of Letters from Iwo Jima. That movie was far more engaging to me.

If you haven't already seen them then I would definitely suggest watching them back to back in the right order. Watch Flags of Our Fathers then Letters from Iwo Jima the next day or something. They'd make good companion pieces and you'd go into it knowing that one was for more artistic than the other and you could take the first one without false expectations.

What you really want to watch is the Burmese Harp, though. That's fucking great.

(Someone edited scenes from Burmese Harp to an Opeth track. Weird.)

The Trip

I think McCracken recommended this flick to me. I can't say that I can recommend it to others, though...Do read on...

It's just so exclusively British that I don't know if anyone without a deep-rooted British background would really care for the nuances and references throughout the film. It's just very anglo-centric to the point where it could be to the film's determent.

The humor is drier than Tutankhamun's corpse. The whole film is pretty much two friends doing Michael Caine impressions and quoting Wordsworth for 90 minutes. Along the way they eat at a half dozen restaurants that look like the kind of food you'd see on a Top Chef finale. One of them will be writing about the food and the trip for a magazine.

If you put a camera in the car and filmed our road trip this weekend as we drove from Detroit to Chicago and back again you'd definitely get some gems in there. But you might have to sit through quite a lot of mediocre content before you got to said gems. That's a shitty analogy of what this film was like. At times I was genuinely laughing out loud. Some scenes were hilarious. But overall, I don't know if I could tell anyone to watch the whole movie just to get to those scenes. You might get bored. I like drier than hell humor so I was okay with it.

However, both actors and Director did Tristram Shandy together and I thought that film pretty much sucked. But Winterbottom also did 9 Songs and that was...interesting... If you get anything from this review it's that you should see Winterbottom and Coogan collaborate together in 24 Hour Party People. THAT was a great film!

Coogan also did a series called Saxondale recently. I watched a few episodes on Netflix. I thought it was okay, but I wasn't hooked so I deleted the series.

Coogan is a cool cat.

See this (even the trailer sucks):

Not this (even through the trailer is good):

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


In a word: Tension.

You reviewed this already and I know you really dug it. I also thought it was excellent. The 17 minute uncut dialogue scene is incredible! Worth seeing the movie just for that freakin scene alone. It gave me goosebumps. It was so amazing it actually took me OUT of the film because I was so focused on the actors doing such a great job with the continuous shot. If you watch Rope by Hitchcock you'll see that he took it even further. The only cuts in that film are when the film stock ran out (every 11 minutes or so?). So each scene was the same length and the actors had to coordinate with the cameramen and soundmen to get the blocking, tracking, focusing, movement, everything just right. If they screwed up then the whole thing had to get shot again.

Anyway, this was one hell of a debut. Maybe better than 13 Tzameti (which was an incredible debut film for a young Director). I think this is more mature, but 13 Tzameti was more entertaining. And also tense as fuck. I think you've seen it, too...

The pacing, cinematography and audio in Hunger were top notch. The acting was great. It was a powerful flick.

However, I do have beef. This movie looks like it was backed by Joseph Goebbels. It makes Triumph of the Will look like an unbiased documentary. The symbolism was really heavy handed and while McQueen says he wasn't painting these murderers as martyrs then why the fuck did he make a biblical allusion to a Pieta at the end with the UDA guard carrying out the emaciated Bobby Sands with a white towel around his waste?

Just tattoo "UDA" onto Mary's knuckles and we have a still from the film.
Caravaggio makes Jeebus look pretty ripped in this painting actually.
You get my point...
The text at the end of the film was also pretty pro-IRA in the way it was framed and presented. I didn't let the message get in the way of the art, though. The film was terrific and it wasn't nearly as overt and condescending as that PSA-of-a-film called Crash. (racism is bad, but it's not just white folk who are racist, everyone can be racist and it's all baaaaad.)

One man's freedom fighters are another man's terrorists, as they say. If this was depicting Bin Laden as Jesus then it might have a few more people irked. But like I said, political or moral judgement aside, the film was outstanding and definitely worth watching. Tremendous piece of art.

This is totally inconsequential, but the young Bobby Sands reminded me of a juvenile Danzig in the film.

Also, the piano score during the closing credits was awesome! I watched everything just to hear the whole piece.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vanishing Point


I was surprised and let down by this one. I'm not sure where to begin. All I knew was that it was the car chase film. Greater than Bullitt. This is supposed to be the shit.

It's not. At all.

The plot is thinner than a pizza at Crispelli's. A dude bets he can drive a supercharged Challenger from Colorado to California in 15 hours. He drives fast and the cops chase him. That's the whole story pretty much. Very little by means of sub-plots. It's certainly loaded with social commentary on race, religion, sexuality and freedom and I'd bet the audio commentary on the DVD is better than actually watching the film alone. I just can't be bothered watching a Challenger drive through the dessert for another hour and a half.

From a film history perspective, this is worth watching if you're a Tarantino or Rob Zombie fan. You can definitely see these characters being lifted and referenced in works by both Directors. My favorite thing about Vanishing Point was Super Soul. That dude was freakin sweet. But his musical selection was kinda wack. Honestly. Tarantino picks better joints.

You'd think 1971 plus dudes on rad choppers, a naked chick driving a motorcycle, a supercharged Challenger R/T, a great black soul DJ, and tons of open road would make for an awesome movie. But it doesn't. It's just pretty boring. It gets better as it goes on, but this ain't no fucking Death Proof, my friends. I'm taking time and place into context, too. This doesn't measure up to a lot of the motorcycle flicks of the era. Shit, even the acting is crappy for the most part (Super Soul excluded).

Basically, if you're a car nerd or a film nerd then you simply have to see this for the sake of being a completist and a historian. But if you actually want to enjoy yourself for an hour and a half then cut to the chase and watch Death Proof.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Well, you already reviewed this one, Hammer...

I gotta say I was certainly disappointed. Marie wanted to see it solely because she lusts after the lead actor dude. Honestly, I think he hasn't done anything that great since Brick (in which he was outstanding). I may have only seen one Seth Rogen film (he was in Superbad, right? That dick drawing thing was incredible). Anyway, he was funny. I can definitely agree with you that he's probably better as a hilarious supporting actor rather than the lead in a film, though. Was he in Zack and Miri Make a Porno? I think so. Kevin Smith is my man. Anyway, I the film at hand...

The director could have went so much deeper. He really only scratched skin deep when it came to emotions. The dude could have gotten more out of the audience. I thought that was weak. I expected a lot more based on other people saying it was so emotional and whatnot. Marie had a half dozen tissues crumpled by the end of the flick, but I was crying with boredom. Ok, that's hyperbole. But I was genuinely expecting more. Hell, I thought the opposite would have happened at the end (don't wanna give away any spoilers).

Honestly, I thought the therapist chick was had the best performance in the movie. She wasn't hard on the eyes, either.

I don't really have much else to say. I wouldn't steer anyone away from it. I'm sure a lot of people will dig it. But it was a pretty tame, neutral flick to me. Not a whole lot of artistic merit. Just something to do for 100 minutes.

I had the Vanishing Point disc out, too. Now there's a flick I'm stoked to see!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Long Slow Screw

Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, Frank Miller and...Eugene S. Robinson?

You may not have heard of Eugene Robinson, or if you have you may have connected him solely with the band he fronts; Oxbow. But Eugene's debut crime fiction novel will probably get you pretty psyched if you're a fan of the former three artists mentioned above.

Eugene is a multi-faceted individual and artist, but since we're talking about the book then that's where we'll start. It's pretty much a pulp noir novel set in New York City, in I believe an undisclosed era. I get the impression it's the 70's, but historical details are intentionally left absent. I'm sure I'm the umpteenth person to compare him to Tarantino and if Eugene is fed up with said comparison then he shouldn't be, because that's like saying you're fed up being favorably compared to a fucking god. As we know, Tarantino is one of the great auteurs of cinematic history and it's clear that both Robinson and Tarantino have similar points of reference that they infuse in their art. This is a gangster novel. There's a heist, there's a femme fatale (kinda), there's an anti-hero protagonist, there're classic mob goons, crooked cops, and plenty of unique 'bad guys' that would find a safe home in a Punisher comic. Frank Castle would love to fuck these crooks over.

The dialogue and general caper are the immediate nods to Tarantino and Ritchie, while the mood and the love interest is a bit more Frank Miller. The book starts off a bit rocky, to be honest. It takes a short while to get used to Robinson's writing. It feels clunky at times. It doesn't have the finesse of Ritchie or the flamboyant elegance of Tarantino. Robinson tries. And it's a good read. But don't expect him to dethrone either of those two when it comes to gangster patter. At times some of his sentences are a little too verbose, but I still appreciate the sentiment behind them even if they're not totally refined. Maybe it's because the flair is peppered in there and not consistent? But if it were consistent then it might be much harder to get through, so maybe he's just decided to throw us some cool little nuggets here and there. It's cool. I appreciate the flair for style. And I'm not one to criticize anyone for being too verbose. Sheeeit.

Bad Eye read the book in two sittings. He really enjoyed it and pretty much agrees with my take on it, I think. I picked the book up after seeing Eugene doing spoken word in support of Scott Kelly's acoustic show. Being a huge Neurosis fan I was stoked to see him and intrigued to see what Robinson would do. I had no idea. I have seen some crazy videos of Oxbow and hoped it wouldn't involve nudity or sleeper-holds. Thankfully he took a seat and essentially plugged the book through stories of his past and stories about him interviewing gangsters to use as fodder for his book. I dug it and bought the book.

Here comes the only bad part: The physical book. For being a label that prides themselves on packaging, Hydra Head need to up their game when it comes to print publications. About an inch of protective covering was peeling and ripping the cover before I even got home from the show. It's bubbling and just reveals the cheap and tacky finishing method they used on the book. The bindery didn't align all the pages correctly and some of the opening pages were slightly askew. But most annoying of all...the fucking editing. Did someone read the manuscript or proof this thing before it went to press? There are a significant amount of carriage returns throughout the book that break paragraphs mid-sentence. It's not like it ruins the book by any means, but it frustrated me (as a designer) since I look for typo's every day at work. Don't let the production values stop you from reading the book. I'm just pointing it out. Hydra Head, please fix for the next edition.

So there you have it. For fans of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, A Bronx Tale, Sleepers, Reservoir Dogs, Snatch, Sin City, etc. It's a great gangster noir novel and well worth the read.

Monday, April 2, 2012


What a miserable thing to not be able to feel joy. It depresses me to think about being depressed. But I also want to tell depressed people to get over it.

This was a beautiful movie. I felt in a trance at times. My lack of sympathy for those suffering from depression makes me more interested in the visual artistry of this film than the main story line. Two sisters that have melancholia just like their That being said I do think Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg were awesome in this film.

Similar to Another Earth, I wanted to know more about the underlying story. I wanted to know about this new planet headed for a collision with earth. Is that called something? For movies to have an underlying story that's way more interesting than the main one? Pan's Labyrinth was like that. It ended right as it was getting good.

You need to check this out if you haven't already. It's never as jarring as Antichrist but equally heavy with feminism.

Of Love and Evil

The second book from Anne Rice's series on angels. I definitely liked this one better than the first one. These are pretty short little novels. Only about 220 pages and again I read it on a slow day at work.

Her lack of flair from Angel Time is still present in this one. I hope she's not just whipping them out on purpose these days. Still very historical and well researched. Just not to the same depth I normally get drawn in by.

Murder, betrayal, persecution, suicide, the Devil,  ghosts. It's all the elements for a spectacular book. I can see the series getting better.

La Casa Muda

I'm a diehard. I have a hard time changing my loyalties. So when it comes to horror movies I'm still a loyalist.

I got suckered in by hype and this movie got hyped because obviously there's a U.S. remake of this movie out now. I'm not sure what they saw about the Spanish version that made them feel more people needed to see it. Of course maybe the U.S. version is better. I'll never know.

 It's one of those "found footage" POV looking movies. It also claimed to be all done in one single shot, but it's not. Twists are great...when they're great. But there's nothing worse then a weak twist...or one that's been done to death. They don't have to be good writers cuz they do the whole "it all makes sense because she's crazy" thing. It's just lazy writing.

I'm not even including a trailer.

Rosemary's Baby

There's something about having this book sort of crumble in my hands as I read it that I really enjoyed. Little specks of paper.

Of course I'm going to enjoy this book as I consider Rosemary's Baby to be a classic suspense film. What this book did for me though was it actually made me appreciate the movie version more. They really did a great job adapting the book into a movie. But I love all the little details you get from a book that you don't always notice or appreciate in a movie. More suspenseful I think.

I read this in one afternoon on a slow day at work. I could barely put it down...and I know the ending!

Thanks for the loan.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi. And so does Marie.

We were pretty excited to see this flick since we heard about it. It's simply a documentary about the greatest sushi chef in Japan. It focuses on him, his 10-seat restaurant in a subway station, and his two sons who are following in his fishy footsteps.

Jiro is world famous and his tiny little restaurant has a full three star rating from Michelin. If a restaurant is rated that high it is deemed to be so good that it's worth visiting that country JUST to eat there. Plates start at about $300 and you might be done in as little as fifteen minutes. That seems outrageous obviously, but watching this flick gives you and understanding of what that money buys you and once you get that, it doesn't seem like a steep price, to be honest. Being a vegetarian, I'm not stoked on a damn thing Jiro prepares. In fact, the movie is a bummer if you have any compassion for animals. Seeing these massive, incredible tuna all laid out on an auction floor is grotesque and upsetting. But this isn't a morality lesson, it's a fucking movie review so I'm not gonna judge Jiro on his offensively carnivorous predilections. ;)

The dude is humble. He works 24/7. Did I mention he's 85? The dude is incredible. A complete slave to his art. He's given his life to his art. Total sacrifice in the name of innovation and mastery. It's real cool. It's great to see him surround himself with apprentices who aspire to achieve even one tenth of his greatness. The dude is disciplined and knows how to tell it like it is.

I think it was well edited, and the camerawork was fly-on-the-wall when it needed to be but it knew when to take more artistic license, too. A nice visual mix. Very comfortable and intimate look at a master craftsman.

Everyone at the DFT was well-behaved and it was an enjoyable flick. Good times.