Friday, May 31, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
I've been diggin' on the Blueprint a lot lately, so I watched the making of J-Hova's first record: Reasonable Doubt.
After watching it I popped on Amazon and ordered four more cd's. Homeboy's one of the best. Hov>Nas (and I like Nasty Nas). Illmatic is amazing, but I think the Jiggaman has him beat from a career perspective. For sure.
Anyway, I've seen a ton of these "Classic Album" docs. They're an hour long. Most stream on Netflix or you can find em on youtube in their entirety. I dig the series. This one was a bit different because they don't often delve into albums that aren't made with organic instruments. You've got a lot of Jay-Z interview footage mixed with the Producers who cut the tracks on Reasonable Doubt. There's a couple other dudes weighing in with their 2 cents and some insight. It's cool. It flows well. But Jigga flows better.
If you like rap, watch it. If not, fuck it, there's no point. Word.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
I can't remember where I first came across this book. It definitely popped up in my google Reader feed somehow. The cover intrigued me so I read a bit about it.
It was originally published in parts in the 2000AD Megazine, so it immediately scored points with me. British authors writing about some gnarly mile-long evil ship from the roaring twenties. Cool. I'm in.
I picked the book up used on Amazon. I like the cover stock. Feels good. Well produced. The TPB itself contains the original Leviathan story, plus 3 or 4 mini stories that spun off the original.
D'Israeli's art is different. He inverts his lines in a way you don't see very often. Outlining with white instead of black, and whatnot. It's cool. The book is definitely succinct. There's no meandering. Edginton does a good job of editing out superfluous plot details. The Leviathan was supposed to be somewhat like the Titanic...only it's been at sea for decades now, never running out of fuel, and never able to make contact with life. It's essentially floating in limbo. Why? You'll have to read the book to find out.
I like the iconography in the book. I like the deco grandeur and the quintessentially aristocratic landed gentry that make up the first class passengers of the Leviathan. The whole package is well done. It's like the Great Gatsby meets the Great Deceiver.
It's a quick read. It's not amazing or anything. But it was worth the time.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I'm literally buying all of Tatsumi's catalog whenever I see his work. You know I went bananas over The Pushman, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and Good-Bye.
So here's Black Blizzard. An early caper about a couple crooks on the lam. Murder, mystery, women, alcohol, great twists, and a gripping yarn. It's cool to see where Tatsumi came from. I definitely prefer The Pushman era of fucking fucked up sordid visions and indictments of Japanese culture. But Black Blizzard is cool, too. I dig the presentation; the paper stock and printing.
I've yet to read a Drifting Life (his massive autobiographical comic), but it's on my list o' comics to pick up. I know the creation of Black Blizzard is documented in A Drifting Life.
Yeah, Tatsumi rules. This book was tight. The only thing I'll say is that if you're new to Tatsumi, start with one of the titles listed above. But if you know him, you can't go wrong with checking this out at all!
Monday, May 6, 2013
I watched Fastest earlier this year for the second time. This was my first time checking out the first in the series, Faster. The Director definitely learned a thing or two from the first movie and really improved upon it for the second.
Faster was shot ten years prior to Fastest. It's essentially the same film, but just following different riders. A different time period in MotoGP racing. He had Ewan McGregor do the voice-over for this film and got him back again in 2011 for the follow-up.
It's good. It's fascinating. But I think he did a much better job of introducing non-bikers or people who don't follow MotoGP, to the sport in his second attempt. This one is a little more disjointed. A touch more by-bikers-for-bikers. Definitely not as polished as Fastest. And as such, it doesn't have the same compelling drama. I'm not really knocking it; it's a good movie in its own right. But it's just that Fastest is considerably better.
It's interesting to see Rossi ruling the roost in 2002...and still on top in 2011! What the fuck.
Anyway, this is streaming on Netflix. Watch Fastest first. Go watch it now. Then if you need more...go watch Faster.
Some of the FSMC are making it out to the MotoGP this August in Indy. I'm planning on going. Maybe we'll see Ewan McGregor...
|Life's tough when you're a young Italian motorcycle world champion.|
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Chances are you've heard of Argo. It's not exactly under the radar.
I was interested in the film the first time I heard Affleck discuss it in an interview. It sounded like a real cool premise and something he was super psyched on. Here we are. I've watched it. It's pretty freakin good. Well done, Mr. Affleck.
As you may know, Argo is based on a true story about freeing some American hostages from Iran. The really interesting part is HOW they did it. They concocted a fake movie, sold the idea to the press and to Hollywood and pretended the hostages were all scouting locations for the movie. Pulled the wool firmly over everyone's eyes. It was one of those cheesy situations where the plan was so crazy and so bizarre that it HAD to work.
The hostages; they look like they should all have been working at American Apparel. Not a good look.
But the Iranians aren't exactly suave motherfuckers either. Lots of beards and camo, beards and camo.
|Easily the best dudes in the film. Especially Alan Arkin. Witty as fuck.|
Everything about the film was good. I didn't think anything was particularly exceptional. But it was all good stuff. Editing, cinematography, costume, acting, score, script. It added up nicely. I'd recommend you watch this. I'd like to see the Alan Arkin version. The whole thing through his eyes. That'd be hysterical. Do it up, Affleck! Argo 2: Go Fuck Yourself. ;)
Saturday, May 4, 2013
It's late. I'm tired. I'll keep this brief.
I watched China Heavyweight last night. It's a fly-on-the-wall documentary about a boxing school in rural China. It's a Chinese production. It's pretty good.
The film follows a couple pupils in the boxing academy, and focuses on one of the trainers. He's a dude who should have been the village hero, but next quite made it far enough. Never got the belt. Well, after taking a break to train the kids he decides he wants one last shot at glory.
There's no narration. No glitz or glamor. It's just true, pure documentary film-making. I wouldn't go out of your way to watch it. But it's not a waste of time either. You'll learn something about rural China at the very least. It's interesting.
It's not gonna make any "best of" lists...