Sunday, 29 December 2013

End of Year Awards: Movie Edition

"I Know Who The Winner Is..."

This year I have decided to make my end of year review into a kind of awards ceremony thing. If you followed me on the facebook last year you may have seen my top ten list of films of 2012 and if you didn't you are either a new friend or an un-friended friend. I have un-friended more people than I have added this year, in which case you probably won't be reading this and it was entirely YOUR fault you were un-friended. As anyone who knows me is sure to admit, I am the nicest, most tolerant person you could meet and your claims of me being an Xbox fanboy just made you come across as the bigger PS3 fanboy. Can't we all just get along and love games despite the platform. Except for the Wii. Which gives me an idea of doing a best video games list this year. Look out for it.

"Yeah, Looks Like"


Now let's begin with this completely meaningless awards ceremony that I have made up categories for just to fit a certain film into. If you want to make it feel more authentic then get yourself an envelope and you can open it before reading who the winner is. And to make it even more fun spray paint the envelope gold. But remember, breathe deeply while spraying. Let's get started.

Best Tarantino Film:
Django Unchained.
Obviously. Everything you love about Tarantino is in this film. From the racism to the unnecessary cameo from the man himself. No matter what he puts into his films it never seems like it's too much or too little. It's always just right. And if you didn't laugh at the hood scene then you need help. Plus it has Christoph Waltz. Christoph Waltz!

The reason you won't win an Oscar this year:
Why even bother doing your best acting when you're only gonna be going up against Daniel Day-Lewis.
It's like if Mastodon are releasing a new album the same year as yours then expect to be forgotten about. Day-Lewis was really the only man who could do justice to the Lincoln legend. Never mind the fact they overlooked his gayness. but I guess the Electric Six video for Gay Bar can fill in the gaps. HA! Butthole.

Best film about the end of the world:
The World's End.
Sure, this may have been the only film I saw about the end of the world this year but it is still a great film. While it may not be as good as either Shaun or Hot Fuzz I do believe that after some more time and a few more watches it will sit comfortably alongside them as another Cornetto classic. I mean not everyone liked Hot Fuzz when it first came out. Just like all those people who didn't like the first X-Men film until the second one came out. You know who you are.

Best sequel:
Despicable Me 2.
Out of all the sequels this year I think Despicable Me 2 did what a sequel should. Go bigger and better. And it did so by having a lot more of the minions in it. You could say Iron Man 3 went bigger and better too but that didn't have minions. I could overlook some of the "dumb action movie plot holes" in it had there been minions. Just replace Jarvis with minions. I just fixed the Iron Man. But yeah, anyway, Despicable Me 2 wins best sequel.

He sure loves not wearing a top:
Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine.
Even the movie poster had him topless. I suppose if I had a personal trainer and was ripped I'd go around topless too. Until then I'll just keep taking my top off at inopportune moments. Take that, society.

Why let the source material get in the way?:
World War Z.
It wasn't until after watching World War Z that I decided to see what similarities the film had with the book. It turns out that the book doesn't actually have Brad Pitt being all Brad Pitty while Sub-Human Viral Carriers™ (not real zombies) run amok. It wasn't a bad film itself but it shouldn't have had that title. Just call it "Fast Infectors and the Explosions they Cause."

Opposite World:
Star Trek Into Darkness.
They kind of have all their stories written for themselves now since in the original remake they added that alternate timeline story so all they have to do now is take the same plot from the William Shatner films and swap around what happened to Kirk and Spock. It's ingenious. And lazy. But at least Benedict Cumberbatch was awesome in it. And since this is the opposite I guess that makes Kirk better than Picard.

Seriously? He's just wearing glasses:
Man of Steel.
While Christopher Reeve at least acted like a different person when he was Clark Kent, Henry Cavill just looks like Superman with glasses. And the terrible CGI made it look like video game characters with glitchy bodies were doing the fighting. When The Avengers destroyed a whole city they still looked (relatively) normal while doing it. D.C. Comics, it's time to shit or get off the pot.

Should have took it easy with the CGI:
Mama was a pretty good idea. It had creepiness and Jamie Lannister. Two of them! But what let it down, like most new horror films, was the overuse of CGI. Sometimes people don't know when to end a film. I can tell you when. It's when you think using shit loads of CGI to try freak out the audience is a good idea. Just look at how good Insidious was without it. And how bad that one part with it was.

Maybe leave them alone or You probably deserved it:
Has anyone in the world deserved to be mutilated more than those who force killer whales to do tricks and then enclose them in a tiny tank? Maybe post office workers but they're not in a film that I'm aware of. Blackfish is kind of like Oldboy. The whale is held captive for years until they finally get the chance to smash people's faces in with a hammer. And I couldn't be happier to see it.

Surprisingly better than expected:
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters.
The trailer made this look fun. But then it was put back a year so they could tack 3D onto it which made me think it was gonna be awful. Watching it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There was some good killings and Jeremy Renner remains unusually good in most everything he does.

This is just here to break up all the writing.

Best prequel:
Monsters University.
A friend told me that Monsters University was just as good as Inc. but in a totally different way. And he was right. The change of setting gave the creators the chance to add new characters, such as mine and most probably everyone else's favourite, Art, as voiced by Charlie Day acting as himself from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And we also got the origins of how Mike and Sully became the great monster team and friends they were in Inc.

What the WTF?:
A Field in England.
I watched A Field in England a few weeks ago and I couldn't tell you what it was about. Something to do with digging. There was no real resolution but it was quite a trip getting there. Ben Wheatley remains an acquired taste and this would be his second least accessible film. For an introduction I would say try Sightseers. Not as good as I was hoping but I do like his gritty looking documentary style.

Tom Hiddleston Award:
Tom Hiddleston in Thor: The Dark World.
Yes he gets his own award. If you need to ask why then you don't need to know. If other actors were to embrace their roles as much as he does then Hollywood wouldn't be worrying about illegal downloading (and if HMV weren't so piss poor and catering to cretins I wouldn't have to seek other means to watch films). He's the best advertisement for whatever film he's gonna be in. Has any other villain been so loved that they had fans petition for their own film?

Needless remake:
Evil Dead.
Had I seen the Oldboy remake then that might be here instead. I've wrote enough about Evil Dead in the past so you can read my review of it to see why it wasn't welcome. I will say that the people who love this film seem to only talk about how it was all practical effects and not CGI. The effects don't suddenly turn a terribly acted film with an unlikeable cast into a Scorsese film. You can't say it's good just because they use a rubber tongue and not a computer generated one.

Best underuse of extreme violence:
How has everyone not ripped off Neill Blomkamp's style. Elysium had some of the best camera angles and handheld shots. But it was it's use of extreme violence that I really liked. There wasn't much of it but when there was it was just right. Some films can overdo it and others don't use enough but Blomkamp seemed to know what was called for and when. Even his use of slo-mo was spot on.

Film of the Year:
Pacific Rim.
Unless you've been ignoring me for the last 5 months then you should have known this would be my film of the year. It was also the first film I ever saw in Imax 3D. If you're gonna see a film in 3D then see it in Imax because otherwise you will just be watching a dull picture with some blurry backgrounds. It will also be the first film I see on Blu-ray thanks to Aishling.
Why is this film so good? It's down to the action and the direction and the imagination. In lesser hands this could have been Transformers but in the hands of a genius like Guillermo del Toro we got a spectacular blockbuster the likes of which Americans largely ignored. But they can keep their inspirational music documentaries where a young Katy Perry realises her dream of being a whore. So long as del Toro keeps producing work like this I'm happy to ignore the ignorant and live in a fantasy world of pure bliss.

"Numbers are as close as we get to the handwriting of God"



Well, there you have it. The most definitive end of year review of the past year's films. And if you don't think so then I will attempt to bribe you with a prize. The first, or randomly selected person to answer the following question will win whatever I have lying around that I feel like giving away. It may be something awesome or it may be nothing at all. In all fairness I'd say it'd be either my sister or Aishling who bothers to answer.
What TV shows and/or films are the three heading quotes above taken from?
I want title and the character who said them.
Comment with your answers.

Now that my bribery is out of the way there is one thing left to do. My recommendation:
Santa's Slay.
It's about former wrestler Bill Goldberg killing people as Santy. Perfect for this time of year.

Have a Merry Christmas and...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Silver Shamrock

Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Massacre

Each year I hold my very own Halloween movie marathon. It is open to anyone who wishes to attend and last year I equalled the all time attendance record of 3. And that includes myself. This year I expect the attendance to range from 1 to 2.

How I feel.

This blog will be about some of the films I watched last year and some of the ones I'm planning on watching this year. I apologise if I don't review a lot of them efficiently enough but it has been a while since I've seen them. Hopefully there will be some that you'll like to watch yourself at this time of year, especially since most TV stations, here in Ireland anyway, seem to keep all their horror films for Christmas. Who doesn't like watching The Exorcist while taking down a whole selection box. Maybe it's a warning not to overdo it on the food.

"Too many cuntin' sprouts!"

"Sister, we are the freaks"

Thanks to Aishling, last year the marathon started off with Hocus Pocus. As it probably will do again this year. If you need to be told to watch this film then you definitely have not seen it and you are missing out. I'm pretty sure it is the perfect child-friendly Halloween film. And it has the dude from Eerie, Indiana in it.

Now that the child in you has been satisfied it's time to move onto The Mummy. This is the classic Boris Karloff Universal monster movie. Even though it is 70 years old it is still a great, quite suspenseful film.

You could be forgiven for thinking Stake Land would be a comedy about vampires since it came out a year after Zombieland but the only similarities are in the title. Also there is a grizzled older man helping a younger man across the country. But that's all. I think. It is actually more like The Road. During a time when everyone and their brain dead mothers are in love with any pale-faced fucker with sharp teeth and hair product, it's refreshing to find a film that knows how vampires are supposed to act. They want to kill you, not read poetry. This is a grim, grimey gem.

I had heard good things about Sleepaway Camp for some time. While it is a typical 80s slasher it does have some good deaths and an ending you need to see that puts it on a higher level than some of it's peers.

The Return of the Living Dead is a classic. It expertly combines black comedy with horror gore and has some of the best looking zombies in any film, before or since. Everyone will remember the half dead woman and especially the Tarman zombie. But you shouldn't expect anything less from the man who wrote Alien and Total Recall.

"Wow. Dubstep sucks"


Did you discover the theme of the list of films above? It was types of monsters of horror. There were witches, a mummy, vampires, slasher and zombies. I also had a serial killer one that I didn't get round to watching. Maybe this year.

I still haven't decided what I want to watch this Halloween but I did come up with two themes I could go for. Or I might just watch anything I feel like.

The first theme is films by famous horror directors.

"There's something in the fog"

Rather than write a piece on each film I'll just list them out.

John Carpenter's The Fog (or The Thing, or Halloween or Prince of Darkness, or Big Trouble in Little China)
Suspiria by Dario Argento (If you only see one film about a ballet school make it this one)
Black Sabbath by Mario Bava (I am quite fond of a portmanteau)
Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro (A masterpiece)
Audition by Takashi Miike (or Imprint, his hour long episode for The Masters of Horror series)
The House by the Cemetery by Lucio Fulci (Worth watching just for Simple Bob)

The next theme I thought of was sequels.

"Awww, i guess she had something to do"

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (It steps away from Michael Myers for a new story, the way John Carpenter had planned for the Halloween movies to be)
Amityville II: The Possession (I recently bought this in Dealz for €1.49. The Z stands for "Value")
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (I think this is the second best film in the series)
The Devil's Rejects (A great road movie with an awesome clown)
The Exorcist III (Undoes the terribleness of the second film)
Troll 2 (You can thank me after you watch it)

"Tutti fuckin' frutti"

They be the films I might be watching this Halloween. And if they're not I will let you know whether you like it or not. Also if you have any favourites of your own or any recommendations for me then drop me a comment.
Now for my recommendation for you:

Trick 'r Treat

It's a pretty awesome Halloween film that everyone who loves Halloween should see. And watch again every year. Don't confuse it with the other Trick or Treat. If Ozzy and Gene Simmons are in it then you have the wrong one. But watch it anyway.

I suppose that will be all for now. Get out there and watch some horror films.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Jurassic World?

"They'll fix you. They fix everything"

They don't always fix it for the better. And sometimes things don't need fixing at all. The above quote is from the original RoboCop film. I think you can guess where I'm going with this now. This week had the reveal of the first trailer for the new RoboCop which basically took everything awesome about the original and dumped it into a vat of toxic waste and then drove a van into its poor froggy face.

I'm not gonna put up the trailer here. Call it my civic duty. You can find it yourself but just know that the suit is all wrong, how Murphy ends up near death is PG-13 and there was nary a sign of one of the funny awesome TV ads from the original. Also I don't understand how his voice is normal but when he puts his helmet on it goes all robotic?

You have 20 years to comply

This year marked the 20th anniversary of possibly one of the best films to come out in the 90s. I remember seeing Jurassic Park when it first came out in 1993 when I was 10 years old. Now 20 years later I got to see it again in the cinema at the ripe old age of 26. This time in 3D. And if you've been paying attention to my previous blogs you should know that I will only watch 3D films in Imax from now on. And so I did with Jurassic Park. And it looked amazing. One part in particular when the raptors are after the kids and one of them sticks his head up and it looked like he was in the front row of the cinema and you want to yell "Down in front." Who doesn't want a creature coming that close to them?

The only way they could have made Jurassic Park better all those years ago was to make you feel a part of it. It only took 20 years but now you can feel like you're hiding behind the tree with Dr. Grant and the kids as they watch the T-Rex attack the Gallimimus'. At least you could feel like that if it had stayed in the cinema longer. I don't know why all these great films are only out for a limited time while so much crap is shown for nearly a month. An hour would be too long for a lot of them.

  If the chance ever arises again you should drop everything and go see it. Hopefully you won't be surrounded by a bunch of hipster wads who have to laugh at every little joke just to let everyone know that they got it. You don't know Hell until you hear terrible haircuts in the dark going "Huh huh huh."

"Well give the man a hand"

This past weekend I also watched two horror films. Not my usual fare of awesome 80's films or Japanese Super Gore. Or terrible horrors for that matter. But actual made in the last few years horrors. The first one was Insidious. I had been meaning to watch it for a long time and the TV decided it was about time too. I have to say it was quite enjoyable. It was made by the Saw guys and they do know how to do horror on a budget. The best part being that they didn't rely on an over abundance of CGI like most horror films do these days. The actual ghosts were played by actual people in costumes which added to the tension. Nothing takes you out of a film more than some fake ass shit.

The second half of my horror double bill was Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. It's about little creatures who live in the dark and befriend a small human girl but are evil little buggers. Unfortunately because of the rating it didn't/couldn't have people being killed which I thought took something away from it. It just needed that little push over the edge. Even though it was co-written by Guillermo del Toro it still lacked his style. I think that had he directed it himself it would have had the fairytale feel which would work for the story and if there were more kills it would have made it more grown up.

"Your move, creep"

That's the end of that now. All that is left is for my recommendation and for you to admit that you read those Franklin quotes in his voice.
Since you watched Tokyo Gore Police last time (yeah right) I think I'll be gentle on you this time.

Monster Squad

A delightful tale about the Universal monsters coming to a small town with plans to take over the world and some kids who befriend Frankenstein. And the Wolfman has got nards.
Also Tom Noonen play Frankenstein and he was in the sequel to the film that I quoted about the place here. It all ties together and you didn't even know. Without me you'd just go on living your life not knowing that. You're welcome. High five!?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Today I Talk About The Apocalypse


Pacific Rim may not be getting a sequel. If that's not a sign of the apocalypse then i don't know what is.
The fact that more people went to see Grown Ups 2 than went to see Pacific Rim must have something to do with one of the Horsemen. Possibly the fifth Horseman: Retard. Because if you haven't seen Pacific Rim and absolutely loved it then Retard the Horseman must have touched you. Inappropriately too, I bet.

I've decided not to endorse your shark


First off I will say something about Imax 3D. If you read my last main blog post then you'll know what I think of it. I had never been to an Imax film before and I decided (on the day I saw Mastodon) that I would like to see one and I designated Pacific Rim as the film that I would want to see in this new way. So me and the little lady booked our tickets online (it's cheaper that way) and headed to the big city. There were posters outside the screen saying something like: "You can see a movie or be a part of it." I thought it was a bit boastful and didn't think anything of it. Until I actually put on the glasses and got to see something in Imax 3D.

You're gonna need a bigger park


The first thing I saw in this new style was a trailer for Jurassic Park 3D and it looks outstanding. From the Gallimimus' running, to Jeff Goldblum's foot in your face. Remember when you first saw Jurassic Park and the feeling you got that it was something special? Imax 3D will give you that feeling again 20 years later. And if I get the chance to see it again I can't wait to have the T-Rex roaring in my face. A bit like when I went to Walking with Dinosaurs last year. Imax 3D may have ruined normal 3D films for me but I already hated them anyway, I just now know for definite that they are a waste of money. Imax 3D, just like garlic bread, IS the future.

Pacific Rimmed


From the first trailer I knew that I would love this film. Not only is it about giant robots fighting giant monsters but it was made by Guillermo del Toro. The man doesn't know how to make a bad film. He's made two of my favourite comic book movies in Hellboy 1 and 2 and I don't think anyone can hate Pan's Labyrinth, and if you do then you need to learn to read (I'm assuming you hated it because it has subtitles). Del toro is still a kid at heart and it shows in the different creatures he makes. A lot of them could only be thought up by a child. Albeit a child who has nightmares a lot. If I owned a film studio I would give del Toro as much money as he wanted just so he could keep making the films he wants and we deserve. Also he geeks out when he sees a giant Gundam robot. Witness:

If you have read other reviews you may think this is a "dumb" summer film. While it's not a "smart" film like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy it is far from dumb. I would say Prometheus is a dumb film, but that's more down to the film having been written by a a group of 7 year olds. Transformers is a dumb film. Actually I would say the Transformers films had been ass blasted by Retard the Horseman. Similarly Michael Bay. But if you enjoyed Avengers Assemble (or whatever it's called this week) and didn't think it was silly, what with all the aliens, gods and the roided up super human, then you should have no problem with Pacific Rim.

The acting isn't the best. But really if you're watching this for the acting then you're not doing it right. This is a film all about the spectacle. It's a blockbuster the way it's supposed to be done. Don't let the story get in the way. It's about GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT MONSTERS. But still it makes you care about some of the characters such as Ron Perlman and Charlie Day. Besides, you should be caring about them in real life as it is.

So as we've discovered the acting isn't the best and the story leaves a little to be desired but what makes this such a great film is GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT MONSTERS. As a child if you had toys and an imagination then you will love seeing your toys duking it out on the big screen. This is what Imax 3D was waiting for. You feel like you're actually in the film and could touch Charlie Hunnam on the shoulder (or somewhere else, am I right ladies?). Also my favourite part was when the little helicopters would fly by and you think you could catch them because they looked so small compared to the Jaegers and Kaiju.

In conclusion, as if you couldn't guess, Pacific Rim is an awesome blockbuster film. It's just a shame that it may not be thought of that way due to a bad American box office. But there is hope. It has done amazingly well in China, which once again has saved America for their poor decisions, and there is talk of a sequel.

The best review I can give this film is that after the first 20 minutes I turned to Aishling and said "Is this the best film we have ever seen?", but I already knew the answer. So just imagine how much better it gets in the next two hours.

Go there if you like the pictures of the Jaegers.

"Fish are friends, not food"


Recommendation time. This time I recommend:
Tokyo Gore Police.
If you have ever wanted to enter the world of Japanese Super Gore then this is a good place to start. Just don't expect to come out of it the same person you were when you went in. You will see things.

Well that's it again. Hope you liked it. And remember:

Friday, 9 August 2013

Some Terrible News

"I want to know who you're meeting in the cemetery"

I have decided to update my blog more often and the best way to do this will be to give my views on recent news items in the world of film and music and anything else I feel like doing because it's my blog and I can do what I want.

"Look at the pelican fly. Come on pelican!"

 First up is the news of a remake of Scarface.
We all know that Al Pacino IS Scarface. So trying to recreate the character with anyone else would be like Kanye West trying to convince people he's Jesus. You can tell people you're the second coming all you want but Jesus would never have to tell people he's Jesus. And he wouldn't be such an arrogant, talentless gay fish either.
But I digress. Here's a quote from The Hollywood Reporter about what the film will be about:
Each [of the previous films] were crime sagas telling the rise and fall of a gangster, and each was a mirror of their time. The 1932 version was set in Chicago and featured bootlegging, Italians and Irish mobsters. The 1983 version was set in Latin-loving Miami and cocaine was the vice of choice.
The new Scarface is planned to be the same: a crime tale set in today’s world, offering a dark look at the American Dream.
So it's going to be about today's "American Dream"? I guess we can expect Tanning Chatum teaming up with Sam "One Character" Worthington to stop a black man from taking their guns away all while trying to prevent abortions and breaking up gay marriages.


A Host of problems.

Well really only one. Snowpiercer is the new film from The Host director Bong Joon-ho. It is doing amazingly well in Korean cinemas but that hasn't stopped Harvey Weinstein from wanting to cut 20 minutes from the film to dumb it down for American audiences (pretty much his own words). The film is only 126 minutes as it is and if 20 minutes were to be cut from it it would "eliminate much of the character detail, which would make the film seem more like an action movie." I'm sure not all Americans need or want films cut so they think their watching another Michael Bay film. It's just another case of an asshole film exec maiming an artists work just to fill his pockets.

Whatever happened to originality?

Akira is back. But only as an Americanised live action film. That doesn't make a lick of sense. That's like remaking a Lucio Fulci film without the dubbed voices and with CGI effects. Nobody wants it. You know why? Because it lacks a soul. Apparently Warner's want to get it made because they are unhappy with the lack of box office made from recent films like Pacific Rim. If there's one way to make money from Americans who don't like giant robots and monsters based on Japanese anime and kaiju films it's by making a live action film based on a Japanese manga and anime.

"It's always with the goddamn fucking chicken"

So I should end on a pretty good note, the remake of Poltergeist may have Sam Rockwell in it. Now that's how you cast for a remake.

This blog was brought to you by an ad for Lucio Fulci season on horror channel and Little Miss Sunshine which is on now. Not on horror channel.
I hope my next blog isn't as much an attack on Americans as this one seems to be. But just in case you were wondering, I do not have any oil so don't bother attacking back. Unless you want sunflower oil.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Donkey Kong ain't got nothing on me!


This past month I watched a few documentary films. These ranged from steroid use (Bigger, Stronger, Faster) which isn't as bad as you would think, unless it's in sport. Wrestling, (Beyond the Mat) which I hadn't seen in over 10 years but is still as good as when I first saw it, the film, not actual wrestling, I still watch wrestling. And the exciting unpredictable world of competitive arcade gaming. If that last sentence makes no sense to you then you need to watch The King of Kong.

"Stop playin' Donkey Koooonnnggg!"


The King of Kong is a rare thing; a documentary that is so crazy you can't believe it's real. There were times while watching it that I couldn't actually fathom that certain things could really happen. I don't want to give much away but you wouldn't find a better protagonist to root for or a worse unredeemable antagonist in any other films this side of Tarantino.

The story follows Steve Wiebe as he gets a Donkey Kong arcade cabinet and becomes obsessed with beating a near 25 year score record set by Billy Mitchell. Billy Mitchell lives a rockstar-like lifestyle. As much of a rockstar lifestyle that a video game playing hot sauce selling man can have. And when Steve Wiebe enters the lion's den, so to speak, you realise just how many disciples Billy Mitchell has. They will do anything for him seemingly just to be associated with him.

You should definitely watch this film. You never knew there were people out there who took arcade gaming so seriously. And for anyone who thinks they're a nerd just because you wear glasses, watch Japanese anime and act awkward then prepare to feel like a fraud because you will see real nerds in this.

Deceiver of the Gods

I have recently been listening to the new Amon Amarth album Deceiver of the Gods. For anyone who knows who Amon Amarth are then you know how epic their songs can be. For those who don't then you need to get on the longboat. This album is part concept and part typical Amon Amarth songs about war and death.

The concept part is about Loke and his hatred for the gods of Asgard. The opening title track is about his feelings towards the gods and his plan to rule Asgard. "As Loke Falls", if you can't tell from the song title, is about the fall of Loke during his fight with Heimdall. Loke leads the army of the dead from Hel to Asgard during Ragnarok. Next up is "Father of the Wolf". This is the story of how Loke devours Gullveig's heart to raise her from the dead so she can bring forth Fenrir. The last song of the concept is "Shape Shifter". This is basically about Loke's shpae shifting ability and his disdain for the gods.

The next few songs are about battles and revenge which you may think would get old but when Amon Amarth do it you never lose interest in them. In between them there is a song about Hel, the ruler of... Hel. She describes the kind of people who are sent to her realm. This song also has a guest appearance from none other than Messiah Marcolin. No? Nothing? You need to get out more. Or stay in. But listen to Candlemass while you do it.

In the hands of any other band these songs would never sound as grandiose or authentic but Amon Amarth have been doing this long enough and have gotten their sound down. Plus they look like Vikings. Have you seen Johan Hegg's beard? Go look at it now and tell me that the beard alone doesn't give them tonnes of credibility.

I made it easy for you.

No looking, Aishling.

Imax, You-max, We all max

My recommendation this time:
Pacific Rim.

I will forever tell people to see Pacific Rim. If you have the chance to see it in Imax 3D then all the better. It's like 3D except it actually works.
I will have more about Pacific Rim and Imax 3D in my next blog. However I can't understand how it did so bad in the U.S. but everywhere else it was a success. I mean people actually went in their droves to see three shitty Transformer films. And Pacific Rim is nothing like that mess of a series. For one it's actually good. And B, it was made by a proper artist. I'm beginning to think that Americans don't like films unless they're set in America. Just look at the opening weekend box office for The Wolverine.

That's all for now. If you have a problem with anything I said then please direct all complaints to your mother's butt.
Everybody pants now. Pants, pants, pants, pants, pants.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

It's Just a Curl of the Burl

Dry Bone Valley

It has been over a month since my last post so in this one I'm going to write a few reviews of some films I've watched and an awesome gig I went to. Just in case some of you decide not to read this blog because you think it's just going to be about a metal band then I will start with my film reviews.

Octopus Has No Friends

The Amazing Spider-Man



 "Amazing" isn't a word I would use to describe this film. "Waste", "Of" and "Time". They're more like the ones I would use and they're already in the right order.  I can't say I'm a fan of Spider-Man in the first place. I used to love the '90's cartoon but the recent films have just made Spider-Man seem like a complete tool. How can someone so uncool get awesome powers and still remain uncool. All while spouting some hackneyed one-liners that would make '80's Arnie want to "let off some steam." Avoid it if you can. And if you can't, at least the two hour run time seems to go by quick enough.


A Fantastic Fear of Everything



 Simon Pegg plays a writer who becomes afraid of his surroundings while writing a TV series based on murderers. I found it a little hard to get into at the start. Maybe it was down to the slight over-use of narration  but after a while it picks up. It's at this point that it becomes quite unpredictable which only adds to the humour and turns what was probably a half decent film into an enjoyably great movie.





 I hadn't watched Prometheus since last year when I saw it in the cinema. And I have to say I could have waited longer. It's still a big mess of a movie that leaves you yelling at the idiots on screen when they can't do anything right. "You're scientists! You shouldn't be so stupid." I guess judging from the youth of today it was only inevitable that future scientists would only get dumber. There's already enough stuff online about how it doesn't make sense and how the characters are all terribly written so I won't add to that. My only question is: If all future intelligence is as bad as this film makes it seem, how did they invent a spaceship?


Moonrise Kingdom


I'm shocked that I waited so long to watch this film again. I wrote about this in my Top 10 Cinema Films of 2012. So if you bothered to read that Facebook post of mine then you'll already know my feelings on it. So in the interest of fairness, and laziness, I'm just gonna copy and paste what i said. JOURNALISM. 
Bill Murray. Two words that should make you want to see this. Bill Murray and a shoe. There's five and you're still here? Wes Anderson can make a dysfunctional family or group of people seem real. No matter how over the top it becomes you still find it believable.

Blood & Thunder



 Not to be confused with a Mammoth

Gigs, and music for that matter, don't get much better than Mastodon. This was my third time seeing Mastodon live and as good as the first two were this one was much better. I credit it to the fact that they now have so much more music to pick from. Considering their last album was a masterpiece it's no surprise that they played ten out of the thirteen songs off it. But you could say that all their albums are masterpieces, at least until a new one of theirs come out. Rarely do you witness a band's fans sing along to the new songs as  fervently as they do to the classics. (I mean who wants to hear new AC/DC? It sounds the same as the old stuff anyway. Just play Highway to Hell and the opening riff to Thunderstruck and everyone will be happy) The proof of this was during Curl of the Burl when Brent Hind's guitar decided to give up and yet he was still able to walk away from the mic and get a new guitar while everyone in the place sang the lyrics for him.

To witness Brann Dailor play drums is something else. The man never stops. I would be surprised if there was one piece of his drum kit that he didn't hit during every song. That's why I never trust drummers with only one tom drum. What's wrong with you? Are you afraid of actually playing it? Brann can play like he has six arms AND sing at the same time. Unbelievable drummer.

Bill Kelliher is somewhat the opposite of Brent on guitar. Both are fantastic guitarists but Bill tends to be more laid back while playing. Unfortunately he was the opposite side of the stage from where I was so I didn't get to watch him shred as much as I would have liked.

And yes Michelle, Troy Sanders was there too. He was pretty much the focal point of the band. When he wasn't singing he was bouncing around the stage. At least this time he had the room to move not like when they played in Belfast the last time.

I got this shirt

If you happen to not like good music then at least you had Robbie Williams and Bon Jovi to go see this week. You just happened to make the wrong life choice and I hope you feel bad. But as Mastodon sing in the song "Blasteroid": If you are sad/ and need to cry/ then turn around and go outside.

Aishling got this one


I suppose that's enough gushing over Mastodon and enough belittling of your choice in music. Now it's just time to leave you with my movie recommendation.
Robot & Frank
This film was out last year and I don't know what made me think of it recently but I'm glad I did. Where nowadays some indie movies try too hard to "feel" indie (usually by putting mopey teens in it), this one actually succeeds by just being plain good.

That's it for now. All I need is a sign off. Someone come up with a groovy catchphrase for me to end my blogs on. There may be a prize in it for you. But most likely not. Bye-bye.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Ray Harryhausen 1920-2013

It was a sad week with the passing of possibly the greatest legend in stop-motion animation, or as the man called it himself: "Dynamation". Ray Harryhausen influenced nearly every special effects artists working today from Steven Spielberg to Nick Park.

If like me you saw some of his films when you were young then i should hope his creations stuck with you over all that time. I can remember seeing Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts and the fantastic looking creatures from the mind of Harryhausen. The Medusa, the Kraken, the Hydra and the cool skeleton warriors. These days computers are used to create such creatures but somehow they never look as good. The best example of this is in the remake of Clash of the Titans. Not only was it bad enough that they tacked on 3D, had Sam "one character" Worthington in it, but they left out Bubo. They just had a quick shot of him. Sacrilege! Compare the Kraken in both films and i think you'll find that the original is far better. It just has a weight to it that makes it more real.

I watched the documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. It's a great look back at the films he made with interviews from big name directors such as Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg and from the special effects people behind films like Star Wars and Jurassic Park. Seeing the painstaking work that went into making his films makes you realise just how talented the man was. Not only had he to create the monsters but then he had to film them. In the documentary he explains how he shot the movie The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, which is about a monster that awakens from under the sea due to atomic tests. Can you name the series of films that stole this idea? I won't explain the process of how he shot it so you can see it for yourself but mainly because i can't remember it exactly. It's no surprise he only made 16 films in his 40 year career.

The one complaint i have with the documentary is James Cameron. I don't see how you can make a film about someone as talented as Ray Harryhausen who spent ages crafting many amazing looking creatures and giving each one a personality and then have a man who lets computers do his work for him while he farts out some basic story. It reminded me of another documentary i saw: It Might Get Loud. In it Jimmy Page and Jack White talk about their life and love of playing guitar and then The Edge comes on and you just yell at him to go away so you can see more of Jimmy Page being like a child as he listens to his vinyl records. Nobody wants to hear from The Edge or James Cameron. Both of whom have diluted their respective art with too many effects.

But we do get one great moment when Cameron says that if Harryhausen was making films today he'd definitely use computers and then we cut back to Ray and he says he wouldn't go near a computer and would stay with his stop-motion.

One of the best things about the documentary is the fact that Ray Harryhausen is in it talking us through his films. I don't think it would have been as good had it been made posthumously. We also get to see some of the models he made. The detail that went into making all the creatures is astounding. You should definitely watch this documentary and then watch his films. You owe it to the man.

"Must rupture the moon crust" she's thinking.


Now i'm sure you have watched Gentlemen Broncos. And loved it. How could you not? It's just too strange not to be awesome.
My recommendation this time is for another awesomely strange film. This time from 70's Japan:
This picture should pretty much tell you all you need to know about it.

If that doesn't pique your interest then go watch Avatar.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Review of Things.

"Fuck the cops. Fuck 'em!"


Well I hope some of you took my advice last time and watched Seven Psychopaths. And you can now appreciate just how great Sam Rockwell is. It was one of the best films released last year and had a lot more going for it than all the summer blockbusters combined. The story was ingenious: a screenwriter trying to write a new film and not realising how his own life was actually playing out better than any film he could come up with. Every actor put  in a great performance. I'm not going to praise Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell  because we all know that they never let you down. I was never a fan of Colin Farrell but after watching him in this I have kind of forgiven him for being out-acted by his own eyebrows in all the crap he usually decides to make. As for Woody Harrelson, he's at his best when he's allowed to play the over-the-top character. Even Tom Waits adds a bit of cool eccentricity to an already eccentric cast of characters. And of course the best part of the film is the shoot-out in the cemetery. That scene alone puts almost every other action film to shame.


This week i decided to watch the original Evil Dead films before going to see the remake/reboot or whatever they decide to name these superfluous abominations. Abomination may be a strong word for this remake. But it's almost perfect for the likes of The Thing premake and the Saws.

While Evil Dead (2013) isn't exactly a terrible film it could, however, be any horror film. The only thing that ties it to the original is the fact it's set in a cabin and has a book of the dead, which in no way looks as awesome as the one from Evil Dead 2. I wouldn't even pick it up if i saw it at a book sale, human flesh cover or not. Where the original had the young folk find a tape recorder and accidentally play the incantation to release the demons, this one has the guy with the glasses read it from the book despite all the warnings he saw written throughout it. Seriously, how can the guy with the glasses be such a dipstick?

Evil Dead (2013) relies too heavily on the usual horror clichés that most new horror films overuse. I could actually name them all right before they happened. And when will people learn that jump scares are not scary? In the original Evil Dead when the camera runs through the forest you get the sense that something is coming but in this one it just feels like someone is running through the forest with a camera. Also there was no imagination with the look of the possessed people. If they have red contact lenses and some blood on them then you can assume they are possessed.

At this point you're probably wondering why I said this wasn't a terrible film and then did nothing but complain about what it did wrong. The thing is I can't really say what I liked about it but I just didn't hate it. Maybe it's because since this did well there have been rumours about Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell teaming up again to make a new Evil Dead or Army of Darkness. And that can only be a good thing. Even if we have to put up with a cliché ridden remake.

In conclusion I would recommend Evil Dead (2013) to anyone wanting to see a new horror film. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking or overly memorable. If, however, you wasted money every year on Paranormal Activity or Saw before that then please don't hesitate to spend money on this. You will be giving me and other real horror fans the chance to see a proper Evil Dead made with Bruce Campbell.

"Hey! I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!"

So there it is. My somewhat 2 star review of a film I would recommend. But of course the best way to make up your mind is to watch it yourself. You'll either like it or gain a new found respect for the originals.

Now for my suggestion on what you should watch:
Gentlemen Broncos.
If you don't laugh your Broncanus off then you should check your pulse. You may already be dead.

Until next time, beware of the surveillance does. I hate those.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

...And So It Begins

Hello. Welcome to my new blog thing. I was helped by the lovely Aishling to put this together. So if you have any complaints please direct them to her. Anyway, I will try to make this a relatively painful experience. At least for myself. So for my first blog I would like to talk a little about music. Particularly my favourite album of 2012.

A bit late for that you say? Well if you knew of all the great albums that came out last year you would understand the delay. I had so much to catch up on and I still haven't gotten through all of 2012's releases. But if the likes of Gojira, Devin Townsend Project and Witchcraft couldn't beat my Number 1 then I doubt the ones I haven't listened to yet would manage it. Before I reveal my Number 1 let me mention some of the albums that made 2012 a great year for music.

"L'enfant Sauvage" by Gojira. Is there a band heavier than Gojira? There may well be but Gojira are able to play heavy without bludgeoning the listener. Also it's rare to find another death metal band with a conscience and who care about the environment more than they do about Satan. While not on this album (and maybe never to be released due to bad luck) you should listen to their song Of Blood and Salt, which features Devin Townsend.

"Epicloud" by Devin Townsend Project. Devin has a style all of his own. Whether you listen to one of his heavy songs or one of his mellow ones or even the one about a cheeseburger you can unmistakably hear what it is. It's hard to describe but it's there. From the start of the album, which features a choir, right to the end, you will realise why "Epic" is in the album title. And in the name of Oden please play it LOUD.

"Down IV Part 1-The Purple EP" by Down. Part 1 of a planned four EPs. There may only be six songs on it but the quality of the EP is better than most bands can achieve on a full length album. As Down get older their talents seem to grow. Where others will just start to phone it in and rely on past glories, Down continue to outdo themselves on each release and I for one am looking forward to their planned acoustic EP.

"Legend" by Witchcraft. I had never heard of Witchcraft until a couple years ago when i read that Phil Anselmo was a fan and cited them as an influence. Unfortunately it took me until last year to listen to them. And it was worth the wait. It's one of those albums that you listen to and as soon as it's over you listen to it again. Highly recommended.

While the above albums are in no particular order, there was one album that I found myself going back to listen to a lot and sometimes on a daily basis. So here is my Number 1 album of the year.

"A Eulogy of the Damned" by Orange Goblin. This album came out in February of last year and it remained my favourite album for all that time. There is not a bad song on the album. I would even say they range from amazing to scrumtrulescent. The opening song, Red Tide Rising, kicks the album off how it means to go on: loud, heavy and groovy. Joe Hoare needs to be recognised as one of the best riffmeisters out there. Ben Ward's voice itself is almost like an instrument, adding an extra layer to the songs. Without it I doubt the songs would have the impact they do. It's hard to pick out one song as the best but being that I am a horror fan i would have to pick The Fog. It's one of those rare things, a love song that doesn't make you want to throw up or punch your momma. It is of course a love song to John Carpenter's The Fog. Ben Ward made sure to tell us that during their last gig in Dublin. So if you haven't listened to this album or seen The Fog (the original of course, there is no remake, don't be preposterous) then I am going to have to strongly advise you to do so.

Well there you go. My first blog and some great points made, i think you'll agree. I hope 2013 will have as many good albums as last year. Judging by the new Clutch album i think it should be just as awesome. And we still have albums by Ghost, Rob Zombie, Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth to come out yet. I can't wait. Hopefully I can give you some reviews of them as they come out along with any films i see. Maybe Evil Dead next week.

As a (hopefully) regular feature, at the end of each blog I will suggest a film that you may enjoy watching.
First up: Seven Psychopaths.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to your feedback. Be constructive.