Monday, December 25, 2006

Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa is exactly like a Meat Cravers pizza on Saturday: predictably delicious, you just never know how long you will have to wait for the delivery.
Stallone is solid, the movie is as solid as can be expected.
I am on the trailing edge of the baby boom and Rocky's dealing with age and rage and the pain of his existence is nearly palpable to me..
Most of the boomers I know won't see this film, as they have long since bundled their lives against this sort of thing. They still have the new Waits record and the George Martin's gift "Love" to drink themselves to sleep to.
Please ignore the critics connecting the GOP/America/Iraq to this 49Up Stallone could not have made it any earlier..and not much later from the beating he takes for the team.
Darren says the reason I like the fighting in Ong Bak is because the guys are really hitting each other. Must be, because they are here too, and the boxing was top notch entertaining! (this from a guy that doesn't watch boxing of course)
Bottom line, you know what you are getting and you can't help but like it.

James Brown Dead.

I was reading an article about the Brits raiding a police station in Iraq. Various thoughts of right and wrong and anarchy and the now "better off Iraq" were cut short by the blurb on the left: Godfather of Soul dead.
This blog has not marked many deaths.
I am at that age when people I have admired are starting to go in larger numbers. I remember Lennon dying when I was 17 or so and not understanding Captain Kelloway being so broken up by it. 17 and blind of course. I'm 43 now, and I think I get it.
Mourning on Christmas morning.
The "Godfather of Soul" had a good run through turbulent times.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Wow this movie was good!
I managed to get a region 2 Pal version of this gorgeous animated science fiction film. The short line, think "Sin City" meets "Bladerunner" and "corporations still run the world" kinda sums this piece up while still selling it short.
Speaking of the short sell, there was a very short theatrical run that had the critics everywhere whining about eye strain. This is due to all of the ambient light in theatres! Normally I leave a low watt bulb on behind the hi-def to help the eyes, but this movie requires absolute black.
I pointed out the exits in case of fire, put the wine bottles within braille reach and wondered about the darn subtitles. OMG it has an english soundtrack! I normally prefer original language tracks, but animation, if done well, is the exception. Two "Brazil" alumni, "Ian Holm" <--also "Alien", "Sweet Hereafter" and "Naked Lunch", and Jonathan Pryce join the new Bond "Daniel Craig" voicing this animated tech noir.
Did I miss Mr Craig's ice blue eyes? Maybe a little.
There is a ton of visual information constantly assaulting you, from truly cool seques to night vision scattersuits coalescing in the rain..
The sound design -- even on my 2.0 system -- is top notch. I was just whining the other day about my speaker imaging problems and lo and behold good source material pays off in spades.
Please note I have mentioned the PAL and Region 2 without going on and on about the self proclaimed Planetary King of Media Exports tight control on what we can see and when we see it. I know you all know about the deliberate degradation of DVD reproduction, the real reason for "Region Coding", and, unlike me, have apparently embraced it in some vaguely droooling form of patriotism. iMovies foreva! But I digress.
So, bottom line: must see for animation fans, sci-fi people and mayhaps a Bondian completionist or two..

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Some New Music

4 new discs spinning here...
Tom Waits Orphans 3CD Megapackage
V/A Sensacional Soul 2CD Digipack
V/A Science Faction - Dubstep
Milanese Extend

..and the last shall be first...
Milanese Extend was one of a pair of CDs bought from Aquarius Records blind, based on a terrific review in their free newsletter. I can't beat their review, and if you know what "grime and dubstep" are, well, you probably already have this. What works for me is deep bass, great samples, glitch and chaos stuck to body bending beats. This one goes way off the map, particularly in the later tracks, but this is a record that brings to mind "Praxis" at their very best. The difference being, Praxis played the shit, Milanese constructs his..

Tom Waits Orphans provides the perfect collection for your hip boomer friends just in time for Christmas. How thoughtful! 3CDs, thematically labeled, and 1/2 of it reworked versions of some of his coolest songs guarantee a weekend of terrific listening. Their are a couple of name naming tracks that belie the esoteric nature and bring him directly to the here and the now. This is, regardless of the mediated nature, wartime. Act accordingly.

Science Faction Dubstep went something like this:
1. load in player
2. turn it up
3. no, louder
4. OMFG. Bring disc to Darren's. "Put this on now. Mark volume." His subwoofer woke up. His house shook.
This is the shit. Deep deep bass, reverb, Dub like you would not believe. Starts great, gets better. In a year of terrific releases this has my vote for best instrumental CD.

Sensacional Soul is a compilation that borders a Soul Jazz release...digipack, booklet, great music on multiple discs. This is apparently Soul music made in the USA for the Spanish Market circa 1967-1974. Smokin' tunes, sung in english and spanish. mostly.