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Drive [DVD]
Drive [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ryan Gosling
Price: 3.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass in film direction, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
Drive is one of those rare films nowadays where the director is the true star. Despite excellent performances from a great cast, it is danish auteur Nicholas Winding Refn who truly dazzles here.

An existential tour de force, Drive is reminiscent of Walter Hill's similarily titled/ themed seventies classic The Driver, in which Ryan O'Niell plays the cool, calm and collected titular hero, whose name we never find out, and who never carries a gun.

In Drive, Ryan Gosling plays a similar character, effortlessly cool yet capable of exploding into psychopathic violence in the blink of an eye. The film's direction mirrors the character perfectly, helped enormously by Cliff Martinez's excellent score. Carey Mulligan is great also as the Driver's neighbour Irene. The emotional tension created in their scenes together brilliantly portrays a love affair that, whilst never consummated, is strong enough to alter the trajectory of the Driver's otherwise perfectly ordered life forever.

The supporting cast is excellent also, Bryan Cranston is brilliant as the sympathetic loser Shannon, and Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are perfectly cast as the bickering bad guys, Brooks quietly sinister and Perlman in-your-face obnoxious.

The story, although a fairly predictable 'job goes horribly wrong' tale, grips throughout, but it's the pacing of the film that makes it so good. The violence, when it comes, is so unexpected, and so at odds with the calmness of the first part of the film, that it really does jolt you. Calculated? Maybe, but when the tricks are this effective who cares!

Drive was originally going to a vehicle (no pun intended) for Hugh Jackman, with Niel Marshall at the helm, and whilst both Jackman and Marshall are both talents, I don't think the movie would have been quite the artistic triumph it is now.

Overall, Drive is a true masterpiece, easily one of the best films of 2011, and destined to become a cult classic.

This Is The Day... This Is The Hour... This Is This! - Expanded 2011 Edition
This Is The Day... This Is The Hour... This Is This! - Expanded 2011 Edition
Price: 11.85

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!, 18 Jan 2012
Why, oh why is this album so underrated. We never see it on lists of 'best ever albums', yet everybody I know who has actually heard it rates it as an absolue classic. Is it snobbishness? Is it the fact it contains, shock horror, brummie rapping? I dunno...
The first thing I heard by PWEI was WISE UP! SUCKER and it blew my mind. I was a metal-head back then, and although I have been on a long musical journey since those days, the appeal of this album remains undiminished. Why do I never get tired of it?
First of all, it stands up as a complete album, not just a collection of songs. There is a definite flow to the album that is almost conceptual, and although the songs stand up on their own, they achieve a special power when played in sequence.
Secondly, just listen to the sampling! Remember, this is pre-computer, the only people coming close to this level were The Bomb Squad and The Dust Brothers. But the Poppies for me were the most creative. Use DEF.CON.ONE. as an example. The Stooges, The Osmonds, Funky Town and the Twilight Zone theme all fitting perfectly into the mix. CAN U DIG IT? sums this approach up lyrically also, basically if the Poppies dug it, it got thrown in there.
Thirdly, despite the oft derided humourous element of the band, there are some startlingly mature musical and lyrical touches dotted about. The portentous THE FUSES HAVE BEEN LIT anticipates the crass commercialism of modern life, while SATELLITE ECSTATICA's commanding bassline and screaming brass gives it a sweatily claustrophobic feel. Best of all though is WAKE UP! TIME TO DIE. The outro of looped guitar feedback truly sends shivers down the spine.
I could go on forever, I love this album so much. This re-issue has been excellently remastered and sounds better than ever, and the extra tracks are a welcome inclusion, check out the early version of 92F and the pounding PWEIZATION. Buy it, convert your friends, spread the word. The next time one of those 'best album ever' books comes out, let's see this in there!

Let's Go Eat The Factory
Let's Go Eat The Factory
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 5.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more than welcome return!, 18 Jan 2012
A self-confessed GBV-aholic, I've loved this band since I first heard ALIEN LANES back in 1994. The sheer enthusiasm for writing, playing and recording music displayed on this album, and it's predecessor BEE THOUSAND was enough to get me hooked, although getting addicted to a band as prolific as GBV were in the '90's was a daunting prospect.
The following album, the excellent UNDER THE BUSHES, UNDER THE STARS, would be the last with this particular line up, and for me the magic was lost from here on. Main man Robert Pollard soldiered on and GBV became a slick rock band, well produced and performed by a whole new backing band. The songs seemed to suffer for this though, and Tobin Sprout, the original band's George Harrison to Pollard's combined Lennon/McCartney, was sorely missed, and apart from the odd flash of Pollard genius, the later albums were increasingly disappointing until their split in 2004. So I didn't really get excited at the prospect of a GBV reformation. On hearing it was the classic '90's line-up though, I decided to give it a try.
I'm so glad I did. LET'S GO EAT THE FACTORY is the perfect follow-up to UNDER THE BUSHES, without at all appearing as a safe retread of former glories. Like all the best GBV albums, it's like fiddling with a dial on a radio at times, with rough and ready pop classics rearing their head above the static, only to disappear almost as quickly as the melodies have registered. It's not to everyone's taste I'm sure, but fans will not be disappointed, and there are quite a few surprises here and there, like Sprout's wonderful 'THE THINGS THAT NEVER NEED'. It's possibly about 5 minutes too long overall, hence 4 stars instead of 5, and I know quality control was never GBV's strength, but they just overdo it a tad toward the end. These are minor quibbles though, and songs like DOUGHNUT FOR THE SNOWMAN, HANG MR.KITE, CHOCOLATE BOY and WE WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR THE HUMAN RACE are up there with the classics.
Buy it!

Hal Hartley's Surviving Desire, special digitally remastered edition [DVD] [1991] [Region 0] [NTSC]
Hal Hartley's Surviving Desire, special digitally remastered edition [DVD] [1991] [Region 0] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Bob Gosse
Price: 22.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC HARTLEY, 23 July 2011
SURVIVING DESIRE was made in 1991 for TV by Hal Hartley, inbetween TRUST and SIMPLE MEN. Despite it's short length, this is classic Hartley, overflowing with the witty dialogue, slightly off-kilter performances and surreal touches that brought him to prominence in the early nineties.
Martin Donovan (who just pips Robert John Burke as the greatest Hartley leading man) is perfect as Jude, a lecturer in literature who is obsessed with a passage from Dostoevsky's THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV The Brothers Karamazov (Penguin Classics)(if you haven't already, please read this book, you may become equally obsessed!), much to the annoyance of his students who hurl abuse at him and complain they aren't learning anything. One student seems to be paying attention though... beautiful young Sofie played brilliantly by Mary Ward. Jude becomes infatuated with Sofie and so begins an ill-fated romance...
This film contains some of Hartley's best dialogue, the exchanges between Donovan and Matt Malloy, who plays his long -suffering friend, being a prime example. The script never becomes too talky, despite it's literary allusions, and the impromptu silent street dance, performed by Donovan and two guys who just happen to be passing, is a wonderfully unexpected highlight. Also on this disc are two other Hartley short films, AMBITION and THEORY OF ACHIEVEMENT. Both are brief but packed full of ideas and sparkling dialogue. THEORY in particular is a real gem, featuring many Hartley regulars including Elina Lowensohn in her first appearance for Hal.
Hal Hartley is an original yet sorely underrated talent and it's sad to see many of his films unavailable, particularly on region 2. Let's hope Artificial Eye follow up their excellent boxset The Hal Hartley Collection (Trust / Henry Fool / The Girl From Monday) [DVD] with a second volume. My suggestion would be AMATEUR / SIMPLE MEN / THE BOOK OF LIFE. AMATEUR in particular is in my opinion his best film, and needs rereleasing NOW! Until that glorious day, buy SURVIVING DESIRE and prepare to become obsessed!

Perversion Story [1971] (NTSC) [DVD] [Region 0] [US Import]
Perversion Story [1971] (NTSC) [DVD] [Region 0] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Jean Sorel

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER!, 16 July 2011
UNA SULL'ALTRA (AKA PERVERSION STORY / ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER) is a hitchcockian erotic murder mystery set in the swinging San Francisco of the late sixties, directed by the late, great Lucio Fulci.
After over a decade of directing comedies, Fulci began a successful period as a director of stylish thrillers. This film has been referred to as a giallo, but it doesn't fit the bill quite as easily as LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN, despite the twisting and turning plot. Apart from a brief glimpse at a decomposed corpse, Fulci's trademark bloody excess is nowhere to be found, unlike Fulci himself who has a cameo as a graphologist, and unlike his usual cameos, seems to actually be saying the words that have been dubbed over his performance! In fact, the dubbing in general is of much higher quality than usual in this sort of film.
Marisa Mell and Elsa Martinelli supply the eye candy, and Jean Sorel (Belle De Jour) is great as Dr.Dumurrier, who starts the film as a particularly arrogant and non-sympathetic character, who despite this has you rooting for him as the story progresses and events spiral increasingly out of his control.
I've knocked a star off because for me, the sex scenes are the weak point of the film, gratuitous and very 'of their time', and slow the whole thing down. The film is sexy enough with the mere presence of the two stunning leading ladies, and the story is gripping enough to get by without the unnecessary erotic scenes.
Overall though, an excellent film, although not as great as his next film, the outstanding BEATRICE CENCI (aka CONSPIRACY OF TORTURE or, confusingly, 'PERVERSION STORY'!?). Also worth mentioning is Riz Ortolani's sublime jazzy score, which is included on a separate audio cd, which is a very welcome extra.

Mondo Cane
Mondo Cane
Price: 10.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best solo effort yet from Patton, 11 July 2011
This review is from: Mondo Cane (Audio CD)
Having been a fan of italian pop / soundtrack music for some time, and also a huge fan of Mike Patton's eclectic career, buying this album was something of a no-brainer for me. On listening though, it surpassed even my highest expectations.
Those who only know Patton for his Faith No More work may not welcome an almost entirely italian-sung, fully orchestrated foray into the land of Morricone et al, but this record is better suited to the more adventurous fan who has followed Patton through his Mr.Bungle / Fantomas / Solo excursions into the outer reaches of pop music. Except this one is really, really catchy!
Patton is in superb voice throughout, convincing the listener that he truly, truly loves this music. Compare this to the (in my opinion) terribly disappointing recent record by Dangermouse featuring Jack White & Norah Jones (Also produced by Daniele Luppi) and it's plain to see whose heart was in it the most.
Standouts are Morricone's 'Deep Down' and the screaming 'Urlo Negro', but pick of the bunch for me is the lush 'Ore D'amore' - listen to this and remember, this is the same guy responsible for 'Cuckoo for Caca' and 'My Ass Is On Fire'!
So if you want the rap/funk/rock formula, go and listen to RHCP. This does not 'rock'. If, however, you wish to hear the latest outing from an inspired journeyman and one of the most versatile voices in popular music, MONDO CANE is for you!

Four of the Apocalypse [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Four of the Apocalypse [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Fabo Testi
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 5.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Spaghetti Western Wonder!, 11 July 2011
Like many of his fans, my introduction to fulci was the '70's exploitation classic Zombi 2 (Zombie Flesh Eaters) which led to the early '80's excess of 'The Beyond' etc., and this period is by far the most popular and widely distributed in his filmography. It's not necessarily his best though.
Having recently acquired a multi-region dvd player, I'm sampling his lesser known late '60's, early '70's output, and FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE is my fave at the moment, closely followed by BEATRICE CENCI (aka CONSPIRACY OF TORTURE).
Fabio Testi is gambler Stubby Preston, forced to leave town with pregnant prostitute Bunny (Lynne Frederick), dead-seeing madman Butt (Harry Baird) and town drunk Clem (Michael J.Pollard). On their travels they encounter sadistic bandit Chaco, a kind of wild-west Charles Manson played with relish by the ever-reliable Tomas Milian.
The film shifts gears dramatically, leading some reviewers to criticise it for being uneven. The scenes involving Chaco are indeed brutal and sadistic, but the contrast between this and the more gentle scenes in Altaville give the film a unique, dreamlike quality. Great Bixio-Frizzi-Tempera score also.
Well directed, performed (despite the dubbing) and photographed by Sergio Stivaletti in his first film for Fulci, FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE is essential viewing for both spaghetti western lovers and Fulci fans.

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