Sunday, September 29, 2013

Love the Beast

This was really fuckin good. 90 minuted doc about Eric Bana's Ford Falcon.

I don't really know anything about Eric Bana, but this film ruled. He directed it. It's about the one car that Eric has owned since he was 15 and how it's evolved over the years and been a constant in his life.

Eric and his friends have rebuilt this car 3 or 4 times over the years. This film documents the last Targa rally he entered it in, the time leading up to the race, and a brief period after.

Jeremy Clarkson, Dr. Phil and Jay Leno round out the celebrity cast. Although it's really Eric's family and friends who have the real supporting roles in this flick. Clarkson is as funny and controversial as ever. It's good fun all round.

I don't really want to go into too much detail but this is definitely a flick that anyone slightly interested in cars can enjoy. See it.

Bosozoku by Masayuki Yoshinaga

I ordered this book from Amazon and got it a couple days ago. It's a photo book on Bosozoku gangs. I know I've touched on them a few times in the past, but to recap; Bosozoku are young Japanese biker gangs. Disenfranchised teenagers riding around on modified UJM's. They make noise, lots of noise, get drunk, party, get in small time fights. And wear kimonos when they ride.

A minority of them take the leap into Yakuza, but Bosozoku aren't as bad as their media portrays. Most of them are done by the time they hit 20 years old.

I'm interested in all things bike-related, so I wanted to have this book. It's a very unique tome. It comes in a hefty hard-cover slipcase, but once you pull the book out you realize there's no spine. It's a hard-cover, but all the pages are glued together in one massive accordion fold. So you read it from front to back, and you can make each spread as wide as you want, and then when you get to the end you turn it over and read it the other way around. When I say "read" I really mean "look." It's all photography. If you were to unfold the book it'd probably be over twenty feet long!

The photography isn't that great, to be honest. It could be a lot better. The photographer was at the right places at the right times...but his photos come across amateur. The Bosozoku have a crazy, unique bike style that's all their own. I dig.

It's a cool book to add to the collection, but I wouldn't run out to get this.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Like Water

I started watching the Ultimate Fighter last season. I dug it. And it just started again a couple weeks ago, so MMA is on my mind.

I saw Like Water come across Netflix and I decided to check it out. It's a 76 minute documentary about Anderson Silva. More specifically, it's about his 2010 title defense against Chael Sonnen (who was a couch in last year's TUF).

It was well done. Definitely more smooth and artistic than I expected. It's got a good original score and nice editing. Zero complaints. I guess the one thing...they should have shown the entire fight at the end for those of us who didn't see it live three and a half years ago. But whatever, you see the important parts and get the gist. Looked like a fucking phenomenal match!

This is definitely one of the better docs I've seen about any sort of fighting or martial art. Recommended.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Early Fall 2013 Mix

Here's a quick mix  of some of my favorite songs at this movement. Right now "R U Mine?" is top on that list for sure. You can stream it on yer phone as well. Enjoy.

PS The above pic is one I took from Laneway the other day, more to come on that soon(ish).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Linotype: the Film

A co-worker found this movie so I rented it on Amazon today. We watched it as a team.

Dug it! This was as good a documentary as anyone could make about a fucking Linotype machine. Before computers, before photosetters, there were Linotypes. The machines revolutionized the printing industry about 100 years ago when a Ottmar Mergenthaler figured out how to automate hand composition of lead type. The machine was six times faster than a man. And could leap a building in a single bound.

You type, it composes a slug of type with matrices, it then casts that slug with molten lead, spits out your finished line-o-type, and then re-files the individual matrices into their original cases. BAM!

So, this doc (or doco, as I just found out they say in Australia) discusses the history of the machine. It portraits some old operators as well as new operators, craftsmen, museum curators, educators, printers and linotype mechanics alike.

It's a low-budget flick but it tells a compelling story. You can get into it even if you're not a designer. I think...

It's a human story and that trumps all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call

I bought this noir book a while back and just finally read it. I didn't want to get hooked when I had too much on my plate. So now that it freed up a bit I was ready to plunge the needle.

Looking at the artwork for the cover of the first book, and you wouldn't be retarded for thinking this was a Sin City knock-off. Thankfully the hard-boiled criminal noir stands on its own. The characters don't have that glamorized, archetypical Bukowski element that you'd expect. This is Chicago. This is now. These are "gangstas" not "gangsters." There are no "dames," only "chicas" and "bitches." You get where I'm going.

Speaking of dialogue...I'm not totally sold on it. Sometimes it kind of reads like a honky trying to "speak ghetto." Feels a bit freakin stereotypical. A bit cheesy and forced.

The art is solid. It has its own style. It's tight and detailed, yet expressive. I dig.

The story is unfolding into an interesting idea. The first installment seems like it's a bit repetitive, but I'm interested to see how it ties into future books as the characters intertwine.

I'll probably try picking up a bunch of the books used on Amazon or something.

What would you do with 100 untraceable bullets?

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Again, here's some music I like, not sure if anybody else will. Kvelertak are from Norway and their name roughly translates to chokehold. They have some elements that remind me of Turbonegro and American Nightmare. Yeah, I know those points of references are straight from the 00s, but if you listen to them, I think you will agree. 

Kon Tiki

The first movie in a long time I felt like recommending. It's based on a true story. I'd heard of the novel but I never knew what it was about.  I'm definitely going to check the book out now.

So yeah I highly recommend this adventure movie. Especially for the scene below involving a parrot, a shark and two bad ass Norwegians.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The 4-Hour Work Week

I'm sure you know of Tim Ferriss. He's written the 4-Hour Work Week, the 4-Hour Body and most recently; the 4-Hour Chef.

I picked up the 4-Hour Body a while back, read it cover-to-cover and really dug it. I only practiced a minute amount of what he discussed, but that's neither here nor there. He does a lot of body experiments in that book and they're not things you can just do lightly. They require a lot of bullshit (read: supplements). But I gleaned some useful exercises and some insights on workout theory. It's a good reference book, especially if you plateau and want to try something different. It's just good to have around.

I liked his style of writing. Very informal, but informed. No pretense.

So, seeing as I'm always into reading about different work theories, management, etc, I knew I had to read his first book, the 4-Hour Work Week.

It wasn't quite what I expected. Although I honestly don't know what I expected.

The subtitle is pretty accurate, upon reflection. That's what it's about. There're definitely things you can try to do. Things to make you money. And things to free yourself from your cubicle. But I'd say this is heavily swayed toward the entrepreneur. Or people wanting to become entrepreneurs. It's less helpful for people who enjoy their office job or whose job simply wont allow them to work remotely. For instance if you're a kind of need to be at work. (I know some classes are taught remotely but you're hardly gonna convince your principle that you can work the whole year...abroad.)

I have tried experimenting with some of the ideas, though. Most specifically I've contracted a Virtual Assistant at work. He lives in India and he will do my bidding so long as it doesn't require him to get off of his chair. I.E. he'll do whatever I ask as long as he doesn't have to go somewhere. It's all executed virtually. Via email, Skype, phonecall, smokesignals, whatever. So far it's been more of a success than I anticipated. I haven't found a ton of stuff for him to do yet, but what has been sent his way has been executed perfectly. I think it's something we're going to be able to scale. So even if I gain nothing else, the Virtual Assistant thing has been a cool experiment.

I bought the 4-Hour Chef for Marie for x-mas. She hasn't read it yet, but I read a couple chapters. Even though I don't cook (ever), it seemed like it may be the best book of the three. And I'm going to read it, too. It's just the theories and concepts he explains. The experiments. They're eye-opening and intriguing.

So, while I don't think Tim Ferriss's books will impact my life in a huge way, they're definitely fun to read. And that's why you pick up a book anyway.

Monday, September 2, 2013

London Boulevard

I know Hammer of Doom has seen this before. He said it was worth watching. So years later I'm checking it out.

It's pretty good. I agree with his assessment. While it's worth watching, you won't be raving about it like William Monahan is the second coming of Guy Ritchie.

London Boulevard has a strong English cast. Lots of staples. I was stoked to see Sanjeev Bhaskar with a small roll, too. He's a funny bugger.

The film sort of walks the middle-path. There are ups and downs, but they could have been much higher and deeper if Monahan had pushed the audience. There's a lot of implied gruesome violence. A lot happens off screen. And while I'm not saying gratuitous violence makes a film better, in this case I think some more visceral shots could have heightened the tension even more.

I dig the plot. It's pretty damn simple. Ex-con trying his best NOT to get caught up in the life again. Ex-con with a heart of gold. Ex-con with a past he just can't escape. Ex-con who's way of life catches up to him. Lots of stereotypical contemporary English lads and gangsters. Del Boy for the 21st century.

It's streaming on Netflix. You should watch it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kill Bill Vol. 2

I haven't been neglecting the blog. I just haven't finished a book or film in a while. Uncharacteristic, but I think bands, bikes, and good weather have gotten the best of me. Actually, I've been reading a lot of magazines, reading two books concurrently, and watching some TV that accounts for it, too.

So, I finally put the Kill Bill Vol. 2 disc in my blu-ray player and fired it up last night. I should have watched them even closer together for an apples to apples comparison. I THINK I preferred Vol. 1. It's more of a Japanese samurai / Hong-Kong kung-fu flick, with some spaghetti western elements. Where as Vol. 2 is the opposite. And I HATE westerns, so that gives the nudge to the first part.

There were some real class scenes in Vol. 2, though. The buried alive thing, and the Pai Mei sequence were outstanding.

Anyway, upon re-watching both Kill Bill's, I definitely like them more than when I saw them in the theatre. BUT they're still at the bottom of Quentin's pile. So, if Kill Bill is the "worst" movie you can're about the best Director out there. Cuz they still piss all over most Director's best output by a mile!