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All reviews - Movies (3) - TV Shows (1) - DVDs (28) - Music (12) - Games (5)

At least it's only an hour long.

Posted : 12 years, 9 months ago on 27 December 2006 03:28 (A review of Detour)

Cheap production values, lazy writing (almost all of the dialogue is in voiceover!), farcical acting, and even a piss-poor DVD transfer. Don't believe the hype. Detour is bad even for a "B" movie.

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The Fucking Champs fucking rock!

Posted : 12 years, 9 months ago on 22 December 2006 09:22 (A review of V)

I'm not a huge fan of metal, mostly because I find metal bands to be too theatrical for my tastes. By jettisoning the aggressive lyrics and costumed posturing of the genre while maintaining the raw instrumental power (the trio is made up of two guitarists and a drummer - no bass and no singer!) The Fucking Champs have succeeded in warming me over to the genre big time. Great stuff.

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Extremely disappointing...

Posted : 12 years, 9 months ago on 4 December 2006 08:32 (A review of The Tai Chi Master)

I bought this based on the strength of the ratings and reviews on Amazon.com and IMDB.com and because legendary Hong-Kong kung-fu director/choreographer Yuen Woo Ping (fight choreographer of Fearless, Kill Bill, The Matrix, Iron Monkey, Crouching Tigger, Drunken Master, etc) was attached to the project. Unfortunately, it turned out to be as bad as any 70's chopsocky garbage.

"The Tai Chi Master" was apparently a dozen-plus hour miniseries in China where it first aired on television, and you can tell. The production values are no-budget and the plot is incoherent due to the huge chunks cut from the series to make it fit on a 2-hour dvd.

This could all be forgiven if the kung-fu was brilliant, but it's not. It's undercranked garbage for the most part. Fights are very obviously sped up about 10%-15%, the editing is atrocious, and the camera is constantly jerking around making the action unnecessarily hard to follow.

Much is made of the "Game of Death" homage sequence where our hero must climb a seven level pagoda with a different master on each level, but the fights are too short, and mostly unremarkable.

Pass on this DVD, and get any one of a number of Woo Pings far superior efforts instead: [Link removed - login to see], [Link removed - login to see], [Link removed - login to see], or the aforementioned [Link removed - login to see].

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a koala crapped a rainbow in my brain!

Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 11 October 2006 03:53 (A review of Amélie)

A quirky, uplifting, sepia-toned story of a young woman's quest to spread happiness and, quite possibly, find her true love. It sounds sappy, and it is, but it's so darned inventive and full of joie de vivre that you can't help but love it. And it certainly doesn't hurt that there are no shortage of wide-angle lensed close-ups of the beautiful Audrey Tautou.

A great story, beautiful cinematography, fine acting, and a perfect soundtrack = 10/10. This is one to own.

And be sure to check out these other movies by this director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Delicatessen, City of Lost Children, and A Very Long Engagement (also starring Audrey Tautou).

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Too true to be truly funny.

Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 10 October 2006 02:46 (A review of Bob Roberts)

This is *not* a faux-documentary in the spirit of Christopher Guest. "Bob Roberts" is biting satire... a little too biting, in fact. Watching the film I found myself far more depressed than amused as I realized I wasn't staring at a funhouse mirror image of reality, but that reality itself has gone through the looking glass, to borrow a phrase. The only real joke in the movie is that Bob Roberts is a superstar folk singer. The rest might as well be a straight-ahead documentary on any number of military-industrial complex politicians in Washington today (eg, Dick Cheney). But then it's not even as successful as it could be in that regard because the film does go a bit over-the-top near the end with a rather unrealistic twist that stretches its credibility, making the film's message easy to dismiss as conspiratorial fiction.

Sadly, this a comedy that's too true to be funny and yet at the same time it's also too contrived to really wake the masses. Still, it's worth a look if you're already part of the anti-corporatist crowd to whom such a film would clearly resonate.

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The beautiful and talented Clara Bow.

Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 9 October 2006 04:45 (A review of It (1927) Plus Clara Bow: Discovering the "It" Girl)

This is the movie that made Clara Bow internationally known as "The 'It' Girl" and it's easy to see why. The plot is rather standard - lower class girl persues and seduces upper class guy, there's a case of mistaken identity and hilarity ensues - but Clara lights up the screen in every scene she's in. Not only is she the cutest darn thing you've ever seen, she completely outclasses the rest of the cast in acting. She has a very realistic style, not the phony overwrought weeper or wooden pantomime you usually associate with silent-era actors and actresses. Her character is also a thoroughly modern woman, self-reliant, indomitable in spirit, and, rare for the screen in the 1920's, sexually liberated. She controls her own destiny.

It's too bad that this is only one of two Clara Bow films currently released on DVD.

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Eclectic angels with attitude

Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 6 October 2006 07:22 (A review of Moon Over the Freeway)

Similar in style to The Ditty Bops' genre-blending swing-revivalist self-titled debut album, "Moon Over the Freeway" is a noticable step up in lyrical quality. The track selection is quite a bit more upbeat, as well, with less than half the album being folky ballads this time around.

If you loved The Ditty Bops first album then you'll love this one, too. If you've never heard of The Ditty Bops then this disc would be an excellent introduction. It's more accessible and infectiously fun than their first effort, even.

Standout tracks: "Moon Over the Freeway," "Fall Awake," "Fish to Fry," and "In the Meantime."

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Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 5 October 2006 07:55 (A review of A Better Tomorrow II)

While the first entry in the "A Better Tomorrow" series played it straight, if a bit (okay, A LOT) melodramatic, the sequel goes straight into self-parody territory... and mostly succeeds. The action isn't as good as The Killer or Hard Boiled, and the characters aren't as nuanced as A Better Tomorrow 1, but the comic quirkiness of ABT2 is endearing. It's definitely worth a viewing or two for fans of John Woo and/or Chow Yun Fat.

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My favorite Orb album

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 4 July 2006 03:12 (A review of Orbus Terrarum)

It doesn't make you want to get up and dance, nor does it put you to sleep. Instead, Orbus Terrarum makes you dream awake. Rather than simple pop hooks hanging on to a thumping beat, the melodies create a subtley ever-changing sonic landscape. For that matter, the beats, where they appear, are more driven by the melody than vice versa, a nice reversal from what most people think of as electronic music these days.

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