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Profile for Mr. AJ McIntosh > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. AJ McIntosh "Gus" (Dublin)

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I Left A House Burning
I Left A House Burning
Price: £13.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 15 Feb. 2016
This review is from: I Left A House Burning (Audio CD)
This album is fantastic and a real grower. It has a folky feel to begin with but dips in and out of different styles and influences as the album progresses. For me, there are strong shades of Nina Nastasia, which can’t be a bad thing. The songs range from slow bluesy ballads to psychedelic, interference infused rock. “Fear” is an absolute powerhouse of a song. Checking out their tour dates, it’s obvious that they have not quite hit the big time …… yet!
If that doesn’t change soon, they should write a letter of complaint.

Buried [DVD]
Buried [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ryan Reynolds
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.56

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time, 1 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Buried [DVD] (DVD)
Every now and again we get a quirky movie that tries to claim some artistic merit and save some budget by stripping out the bells and whistles, and focusing on what the film is really about - Often a psycological thriller playing with the idea of claustrophobia and imprisonment, and usually benefitting from a limited number of sets or locations. Sometimes done excellently (12 Angry Men, Rear Window), often done averagely (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Tape, Hard Candy), and occassionally done woefully (Buried, Panic Room).

Now, this wasn't all bad. Hat's off to a man who can film an entire feature in a box, in what seems to have been more about the gimmic than the film.

Where the audacity overtook the enjoyment for me, however, was the decision to make the lead one of the most dislikeable characters imaginable. He wasn't a bad man, nor was he overly arrogant. He was just a useless ball of stress with a misguided attitude who seemed unable to work well under pressure. Maybe this was the point... he was an ordinary Joe! But why put this type of character in a role that is far more suited to a calmer, more intelligent individual, who you could build some sort of emotional attachment to. In fact, had it been me making this film, I would have opted for a woman.
In short, if you don't care whether a person lives or dies, then everything that precedes the moment of truth, is pointless.

Secondly, The plot was weak. The director tries to fit a thousand plot threads into the mix and doesn't fully develop any of them. It would have been far better to focus on the relationship between the captor and the captive, a game of cat and mouse between the authorities trying to tap into the call and the lead trying to charm his/her way into a better position.
In short, a wasted opportunity.

The Trip [DVD]
The Trip [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £3.95

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good trip, 24 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Trip [DVD] (DVD)
The trip seems follows Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing caricatures of themselves as they accompany each other on a critics tour of exceptional, but remotely located, restaurants across North West England. Steve wanted to be accompanied by the object of his affections, stateside, but in her absence has ended up with Rob, which makes for much more entertaining viewing for us.

The three things that make this so good to me are:

1. The locations - Every episode makes you want to be there.
2. The guys behind the scenes - direction, production values. All top notch.
3. The fact that the caricature aspect of the characters is so restrained that you wonder how much is scripted and how much is simply two friends sitting in a restaurant being filmed by a man behind a couch.

The light nuances in the performances extract the need for them to tell you too much about their private lives. Steve Coogan gives us fantastically understated depictions of confidence and insecurity in equal measures. Rob Brydon is altogether more levelled but also one step down on the ladder.

Male libido is always in the air across each episode and one thing is clear to audience and characters throughout - Steve has the upperhand when it comes to securing the interest of females - but perhaps only short term. On the flip side, Rob will fumble a bit in this field, but return from his journey to the security of his loving wife.

The most common theme from a comedy perspective is the fact that both men are extremely talented impressionists. They each spend a lot of time bigging up their own abilities and trying to belittle the other's. Although a lot of people will no doubt find this irritating after a while, it shows to me that friends do cover the same things over and over again, especially when together for an elongated stretch. Each time they do this, there are enoguh new ideas to keep it fresh so don't worry.

In a world where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are everywhere, and often playing hyper exaggerated versions of certain parts of themselves, what makes this so refreshing to me is that it is them playing, what appears to be, slightly exaggerated versions of the whole of themselves. I don't think it would have worked quite as well with any two other people.

Transsiberian [DVD]
Transsiberian [DVD]
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Price: £5.12

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth watching, 20 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Transsiberian [DVD] (DVD)
Pretty ridiculous stuff altogether.

I like most things, no matter how bad. I didn't like this, however.
Although I was rooting for the leads, I didn't particularly like either of them and they were the most unlikely couple. Emily Mortimer was entirely unbelieveable as the 'bad girl turned good'. The character Woody Harrelson played was cringeworthy to the extreme.
The whole scenario with the Spanish fella was stupendously bad. If a girl with such a shady past flips into paranoia so readily in situations like this, then she must have a lot of blood on her hands.

Then the action starts and some seriously poor writing concludes the film over the next 15 minutes or so.

Deepest Siberia must be one of the most eerie and most beatiful places in the world. I have never been there but it must be, surely. The director showed no interest in using his location to his advantage at all. There were no moments of eeriness, and no moments of beauty. Very surprising.

All in all, a waste of time.

City Rockers Presents Futurism
City Rockers Presents Futurism
Price: £32.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finger on the Future, Finger on the Past, 7 Oct. 2008
I bought this when it was released. I loved it then, and I've listened to it sporadically ever since. It really was one of the first compilations to concentrate on the sound of 80's electro that is now so overdone, my dog wouldn't eat it.

It followed on from purchases of Dave Clarke's Elecroboogie and World Service and where his sound had DC written all over it. Dark, edgy and sophisticated... Futurism was light, poppy and sexual. And it still is.

It is difficult to know what it would sound like to someone who has not heard it before, because as I said, there's bundles of music out there that has been influenced by these artists. What I like about Futurism is it is the first introduction I had to this type of sound and it sounded so god damned fresh.

3.10 To Yuma [DVD]
3.10 To Yuma [DVD]
Dvd ~ Russell Crowe
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £2.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ending - Spoiler, 3 July 2008
This review is from: 3.10 To Yuma [DVD] (DVD)
I think the ending to this film was excellent and believable in the circumstances.

There was a certain level of redemption throughout the film, very much triggered by the strong morals that Dan possessed.
A lack of self esteem and poverty were what most people saw, and Dan was terrified of that... Ben Wade was the only man who saw Dan for what he actually was - True to his own belief, uncontradictory and with an untouchable strength of character. Probably attributes that he sees himself as possessing, albeit from the complete opposite end of the moralistic spectrum. It was clear that Ben Wade respected Dan.

One thing that no-one has commented on is the fact that Charlie Prince knows Ben Wade better than most. He trusts him as a leader of a gang that is solely about making money (Ben Wade gestures/refers to affluence and the power of money on a few occassions throughout). This does not necessarily mean that he trusts him as a man... and this is evident in the final shoot-out between them. Charlie Prince draws first, or at least is ready for the gun fight before it happens. Their relationship was based on business and business related reliability, not nights in the bar and sh*ts and giggles. Charlie Prince probably heard Ben screaming for Dan's life as he was gunned down, and it's fair to assume that this will have been the first time that he has heard this. The difference between Ben Wade and Charlie is that Ben Wade would have made the association immediately and killed himself in an instant. It took Charlie enough time to supply Ben Wade with a gun before he figured out what was going on.

There may have been points throughout the film where things were a little far-fetched, but the relationships and actions between the four main players (Ben, Dan, Charlie, and Dan's son) remained true and explainable throughout.

Mean Streets (Special Edition) [DVD]
Mean Streets (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Harvey Keitel
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £6.45

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little taste of near perfection, 12 May 2008
I can understand why some people would dislike mean streets due to it's lack of plot and structure should they have watched the movie only once. It is, however, the same as passing comment on good music after only listening to it once. Impossible to judge, in my opinion.

Scorsese plays heavily on his childhood in content, introducing the audience to his world through the eyes of four local hoods. There is none of the morals of it's contemporary mafia based film, The Godfather... and none of the thrills and wealth portrayed later by Scorsese in 'Goodfellas'. It is a real world where gun crime is unusual and shocking and violence is sporadic and adrenalin fueled.

The cogs that keep the film moving forward are that of Charlie's questionable faith and his desire to prove himself by helping Johnny Boy free himself from a mountain of debt he has built up with Michael, a small time shark. The centre point for the scenario is a bar owned by Tony, and the four players weave in and out of each others lives with tensions getting more serious and a downfall becoming more inevitable as the film progresses.

Mean Streets is also improvisational comedy at it's best in parts. The relationship between Charlie and Johnny Boy (and the sheer talent of the two leads) allow much unscripted conversation to flow and it leaves you grinning widely, if not full out laughing.

I believe that taste is accountable for most things, and quality comes to a slightly lesser extent. To me, this film has something that I cannot put my finger on that makes it shine brightly. As mentioned before, it demands multiple viewings, but give it a chance... and watch it on the big screen if you're lucky enough to have it shown locally, and you might well discover a film that takes pride of place as your favourite, just as I did.

From Emma Forever Ago
From Emma Forever Ago

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I concur, 28 April 2008
This review is from: From Emma Forever Ago (Audio CD)
Don't really have a great deal to add to the below reviews. I have been listening to this for a weekend, and already I think it will be one of those records I will cherish for many years.

If you like it, check out:

Martin Finke - Crown Time
Adrian Crowley - Long Distant Swimmer

Both songwriters with immense talent, but little recognition.

Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Auteuil
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £2.97

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelled, 24 April 2008
This review is from: Hidden (cache) [DVD] (DVD)
As in, I feel compelled to write a five star review for this film just to help up it's utterly unjust three star rating (as it stands today).

This is one of my favourite films that I have only seen once. I watched it a couple of years ago and some of the imagery and ideas are still clear as day in my mind. I still think about this film and I think that is amazing, considering it took up a couple of hours back in 2006.

It is a very good portrayal of the complexities of guilt and all it's associated mental states. And draws the viewer into the predicament expertly.

Claude Von Stroke At The Controls
Claude Von Stroke At The Controls
Offered by DLC_MUSIC
Price: £6.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings a sneaky smile to your face, 7 Sept. 2007
It feels a bit premature writing a review to this as I have only digested CD1 so far. However, CD1 hits the button, start to finish. I can come back later and finish it.

My first introduction to Claude Vonstroke was his promotional CD for mixmag back in May. His dirty disco type beats were just the ticket to a weekend in Amsterdam back then. For anyone familiar with that mix, this one beats it... hands down. His record selection ticks all the right boxes if you like accessible, twisted electro/techno/house type stuff that is dark enough to fill a basement club with sweat, but playful enough to accompany a bbq or pool party with effortless pinache.

There is enough zany noises to put Bentley Rhythm Ace to shame. Layer upon layer of fascinating sounds erupt from various tracks throughout, but the structure is never lost and he doesn't take you off the trip for a second. There are peaks and troughs of light and dark but in essence, this is the foundation of the rollercoaster ride he brings you on.

As a part-time dance music fan I can't think of many comparisons, but Tiefschwarz Fabric effort springs to mind, along with some of the Rotter's Golf Club stuff.

Sleazy, sexy and slick... strictly designed for those of us who don't like to take things to seriously.

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