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Driza (Hull UK)

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Kiss: Rocks Vegas - Live At The Hard Rock Hotel [DELUXE [DVD] [NTSC]
Kiss: Rocks Vegas - Live At The Hard Rock Hotel [DELUXE [DVD] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Devin Dehaven
Price: £27.99

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pan stick and Pyro, 25 Jun. 2016
In which 43 years of pyro and panstick is celebrated in ego-tastic style in the only way KISS know how- BIG! I have always held the opinion that the only way to truly appreciate KISS was as a live act and this underlines this in no uncertain terms. When KISS played a residency in Las Vegas in 2014, it was certainly a meeting of minds. The most garish, the most spectacular, the most tacky, the most monied, the most tasteless, the most morally empty enterprise in the world invites, essentially, itself in band form. Money no object, scale no object, the brief was simple. Build a stadium sized show in a relatively small venue. Apart from landing on the stage with a helicopter gunship, or invading a small country as part of the encore, anything goes. The results, with lasers, video walls, a computer linked light up drumkit as well as all the other malarkey is undoubtedly stunning.

This whole thing is an exercise in ego. A massive show, turned into a movie which worships at the seven inch leather heels at the most ludicrous band in pop cannot be anything else. So, how to approach it? Do I retain my sense of cynicism, and attempt to destroy by mockery? if I do, I will lose- they can, as I understand it, probably withstand my English reserve. Do I dive in head first and just take it for what it is? 60 year olds in the dressing up box with passable at best 4 chord glam stomp anthems? Or do I at least attempt an open mind?

Kiss leave nothing to chance. This movie has every pose just so, every camera angle tightened to within an inch of it's life, every shot exactly calculated to show the band or the individual exactly in their best light. The odd imperfection- the shot of the video monitor with lyrics , the occasions when the make up starts to crack a little, are kept to a minimum, but are all the more fun for it. Everything else is bang on the money. Every explosion is filmed perfectly, evey point-at-the-camera, every shot of THAT tongue. In the intro, Paul claimed to be "spontaneous" which made me spit my Creatures of the Night popcorn out. Spontaneity really isn't a word that should be used by a band who have used the same format in every gig for over fourty years. Drum Riser- Check. Blood spitting- Check. Rocket guitar- Check Well rehearsed in between song chat- check. And of course, pyro. Lots and Lots and LOTS of pyro. Not that there is anything wrong with that. A winning formula is a winning formula. Incidentally, I really hadn't realised just how camp Paul Stanley is. From the softly spoken interviewee, to the full on channelling Noel Fielding haircut,the bursting for a wee sub Prince dancing, to the guitar hero shape throwing, that man is CAMP!

There is little doubt however, that after 40 years, the band have actually learned how to play. The "new" ones, Tommy Thayer on guitar, and Eric Singer are impressive, Singer particularly so. Although at times he looked maybe a little casual for what I was hearing, he is a corking drummer. Thayer was on the post production for this, so yep, he was going to sound good, but actually, he did. The overall impression was of a band who knew what was wanted, and they delivered it.

So, in answer to the question earlier, I found that if I just let it flow over me, and gave in, it was indeed fun. Well executed, slick, perfectly presented fun. It isn't Rock n Roll, but I liked it. I can't give in 100% of course, there were faults, but sometimes, even though you like steak, a McDonalds will do just as well at that point.

So yes, I was sold. Cartoon characters they maybe, and they may even believe their own "hottest band in the world" hype. But it worked. And that is all it needs to do.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2016 7:06 PM BST

Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Black) - Includes Special Offers
Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Black) - Includes Special Offers
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Please don't preload., 7 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent product. Bought for grandson who loves it. Only one issue. My account details are already preloaded. I don't like the idea that someone else has some of my details. I don't like that someone else has access to my email account for one thing. Please don't preload

Scum [1979] (Ray Winstone) [DVD]
Scum [1979] (Ray Winstone) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Winstone
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal. uncompromising. Savage., 27 Mar. 2016
There are certain events in your life which, for better or worse, leave an indelible mark. Watching this in the Cinema on its release left me horrified, and a little scared. If that really was what that institution was like I wasn't going anywhere near it.
It's directed and filmed in a really low key, earthy format, with no melodrama from the actors or intrusive music. When the drama explodes into incident, usually involving savage violence, it does so with a shocking suddenness. The brutality of the system, those that operate it, those that find themselves lost within it, those that surf it for their own ends, is stark, uncompromising, and unremittingly oppressive. Officers with a sense of entitlement, bitter old cynics, Old School authoritarians controlling the feral uncivilised mass of lost humanity by rigidly, and summarily enforced rules. The "Daddy" of the inmates, using similar methods to maintain status, assuming and protecting his position with no mercy. A clear pecking order where the weak are ruthlessly sacrificed to the strong.
Not a lot of laughs, then.
This film is, unapologetically, down beat, grim and horrible and concerned only with the hell that Borstal was.It has no moral standpoint. It does not attempt to bring any redeeming lightweight upside to balance things out. It has humour, but this itself is dark, and cynical. The message is that both sides, the inmates and the authorities, are very similar in so many ways, each justifying their actions by their own twisted morality, or sometimes not attempting to justify it at all. Both use violence and power to achieve what they need, which is, essentially, control, and both are absolute in pursuit of their agenda, with no thought for human consequences. To say they are both as bad as each other is an over simplification. They do what they do for different reasons, which are inextricably linked, but what they do is essentially the same thing.
There are some notable stand out performances. Ray Winstone was electric in this film, sheer class, magnetic, and compulsive. No one else would have come anywhere close. Phil Daniels, as his weaselly sidekick was excellent. They were in Quadrophenia of course, a film out about the same time. They were young, and brilliant. Mick Fox, who played the laconic Archer was really really good. His character shone a little light relief into the murk, but his reward was, as with others, swift and not nice.
A number of scenes in this film are hard to take. After a gap of nearly 40 years it is still difficult to watch some of it. The last time I tried I turned away at the pivotal scene in the greenhouse. It still shakes me now. What followed next was incendiary, the final scenes depressing. It was a masterclass in direction, in production, in writing and acting. It may well be dated now, and we are used to our brutality being served up in nice polished chunks, but back then, this knocked the wind out of me. A hell of a movie. I doubt much has come close (although Made In Britain with Tim Roth is worthy of mention). Fantastic. Hard going, but fantastic.

Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
Price: £5.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers, but breathtakingly great, 23 Dec. 2015
Kevin Rowland was bloody minded, stubborn and egotistical. Despite or more than likely because of that, he was the creator and driving force behind one of THE stunning debut albums of its time.

Some of us are old enough to remember his spat with the music press, when instead of interviews or allowing reviews of his gigs he would buy space to share his meaningless, deliberately obtuse and utterly pretentious world view. Some of us remember the “kidnapping” the master tapes of the new album. We remember the alcohol ban at venues he played “because kids had tickets too” and he “didn’t want to exclude them”

And we thought he was a prat. We were right. He was. The only way he could ever carry any of that off was to be absolutely sensational. And in the case of this album, he was.

Well, I say he. He was quite obviously the ideas man, (I hesitate to use the word “visionary” but it might be fairly near) He knew what he wanted, and by all accounts was forensic and obsessive in getting it. A nightmare to work with, or for, he channelled his best inner James Brown in demanding perfection from those who had the musical talent. (He had a vocal style best described as “unique”) So I say he, but it’s not quite accurate.
The music was updated Stax soul, with discordant rhythm guitar down in the mix, and weird, gurgling falsetto vocals to the fore, and the magic ingredient, a red hot horn section. Now that in itself doesn’t sound much, but let me tell you this….
Rowland’s bonkers vocal, obsessive musical vision and sheer force of personality, when mixed with just THE most brilliant horn section to grace a British album in the 70s is an explosive combination. The result is just breathtakingly great. Tight, tuneful, cynical, droll and in-your-face challenging, it’s a brilliant debut, which confronts and questions and makes you dance and marvel all at the same time.
He had a great way with lyrics, with a dry humour, (“Thankfully, not living in Yorkshire, that doesn’t apply” is a SUPERB title and the lyric “Keep me away from Leeds, I’ve been there before, not what I’m looking for” is still laugh out loud funny). He also strikes me as the musical equivalent of Stuart Lee, sardonic, weary, cutting, and very sneery.
When he signed off by saying “everything is funky, from now on” he wasn’t telling the truth, but he knew he was going to reinvent himself. That is another story.

A Night At The Odeon
A Night At The Odeon
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable. Fabulous. Fantastic., 11 Dec. 2015
This review is from: A Night At The Odeon (Audio CD)
As far as I am concerned this is the Holy Grail. I have never seen Hyde Park, and only poor copies of the Rainbow, so, live wise, this is where I came in. I saw it at the time it went out, and I have seen and heard several versions since, and am very excited indeed that it now has an official release.
As a performance, it was awesome. A mixture of raw and polished, nervous and assured- the opening vocal on the original Now I'm Here has been tidied up since, but on the original it was quite shaky- a band on the up. THAT single had just hit number one and was about to change their lives forever. They were still a guitar driven thing back then, with Ogre Battle, and Brighton Rock, and Killer Queen showing Brian had a fabulous talent for deft and bombastic in equal measure. Fred was still developing his persona, this was the camp, effeminate Mercury, pre -tache and upper body strength. Roger was astonishng even then. He always was fantastic, there never seemed a point when he wasn't. John was, as always ,John. A quiet unassuming and underrated force. So, a band in evolution.Given ten years they would be a true live colossus. This is unmissable. A fabulous document. If you were there, you will already have this, but get it again why don't you? If you werent,but wondered how it all took off, well, this is how.

I love this. I really REALLY love this.

A Night At The Opera
A Night At The Opera
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £6.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This may be a masterpiece, 11 Oct. 2015
This review is from: A Night At The Opera (Audio CD)
Queen 1- establishes a very talented bunch within a glam metal framework (well, it was 1972 after all) and contains a couple of really good songs, and quite a bit of promise. Queen 2- A flawed work whereby there was an awful lot of overdubbing, a distinct hippy drippy "progressive" feel to the lyrics- all elves queens and fairies, but for the most part, someone forgot to write songs. Queen 3, or to give it the official title Sheer Heart Attack. Back to basic Rock, with riffs, and songs, and brilliant guitar solos and everything. So, If you were a record company boss, agreeing to fund the (at the time ) most expensive rock album of all time, what direction would you want the album to take?

If you expected another guitar based stomper you would be well wide of the mark. If you expected Queen to go away, indulge their wildest visions, experiment with sounds and imagery and in short fulfill the most extreme musical fantasy it is possible for a young, flamboyant, and just a little mad Freddie Mercury to imagine, then bingo! you are spot on.
If you expected it to work, if you expected all the self indulgence, the huge budget, the self possessed bloody mindedness to produce one of the most diverse, eclectic and overwhemingly fantastic albums of all time, then you are Freddie Mercury, and in a minority of one-well, four.
It is a truly cohesive statement of intent.
Death on Two Legs..... Allegedly about said record company boss, or John Reid, depending on whom you believe, kicks things off with a cracker Vicious, bitter and very direct, it's a hell of an opener. Then the diversity and frivolity takes over. One of a couple of English whimsy songs, you can almost see the straw hat and blazer, "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon"

I'm in love with my Car and Sweet Lady reimpose the Rock element. Then things get really interesting. The vocal workout on “The Prophets Song”, the May melancholy of “Good Company”, the sweet and lovely “Love of my life”. And Then………..

I don’t need to say anything about THAT song. Everyone knows it, everyone has an opinion, they don’t need mine. All I will say is that 40 years on it is still as inventive, brilliantly stunning and extraordinary as ever it was. It encapsulates in 6 minutes, the ambition, the vision, and the ego, the unstoppable self belief of the man, the band and the album. Not to mention the talent. This album may be a masterpiece.

Alive! [VINYL]
Alive! [VINYL]
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £20.46

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "You wanted the best, but you couldn't get Led Zeppelin tickets! The most average rock n roll band in the world...... KISS!", 25 April 2015
This review is from: Alive! [VINYL] (Vinyl)
"You wanted the best, but you couldn't get Led Zeppelin tickets! The most average rock n roll band in the world...... KISS!" Way back in the mist of time, Colonel Tom Parker saw the young Elvis Presley. He saw the excitement, the originality, the danger, but most of all, saw the potential to make millions of dollars. All he needed to do was to remove the excitement, the originality, and the danger, and replaced it business. It worked, and the former allegedly cruel to chickens (making them "dance" on a hot tin plate, so it is said) impresario smoothed out the rough edges, turned the icon of Deep South White Boy Rock n Roll into family entertainment, and the rest is guns, drugs and deep fried peanut butterc heese burger related history.

And Paul Stanley, and Gene Simmons were watching......

And it came to pass that an idea was conceived, that out of the white heat of UK Glam Rock- The make up, the simple riffs, the ability, somehow to look camp and macho at the same time, the creation of an illusion that even a bloke that looked like a brickie could be classed as glam- and out of the tradition of Col Tom, a new breed of entertainment could be born. Rock and Roll Glam Metal, born out of pure showbiz. A " music" that bore no relation to, or had no link with musically or otherwise any thing that had gone before. No debt to the blues, no tradition of songwriting, no sense of history. A stand alone, brash product, where money came first, and music came....well, nowhere if truth be known. This idea would, in time give birth to merchandising so shameless it nearly got it's own Channel 4 series, and be honed to such a degree that the product did actually become a self sufficient, fully functioning rock act, in a move which saw the concept become real- the Pinocchio effect if you will ( "look at me , I'm a real boy! ")

This was done through the bands real ace in the hole, the live show. Kiss are far more famous for their live act than anything they have ever done on record. Pyro, spitting blood, rocket shooting guitars, the whole showbiz 9 yards. The songs are unimportant, which is why this album isn't very good. You have to SEE Kiss, it is no good listening to them, it's horrible sometimes to be honest. The show is prety much the same format now, 40 years on.......I'll say that again, slowly......40 years on (wow!). Now it's slicker, louder, more expensive, and, due to a lot of practise, a lot more professional. It isn't imaginative, or inventive, but it is fun. As over the top Americana goes, this really goes. They are number one( in a field of one, admittedly)

truth is though, if you want the KISS experience, watch them, get DVDs. Pay mortgage sized prices to see them live if you must. Just listening to a terrible live album of terrible studio songs really won't do it."Rock and roll all nite" is passable as a fun rock anthem, but apart from that,this is just not very good at ALL.

Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bordering on genius., 30 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Kick-Ass (Amazon Video)
So,one character muses, why don't ordinary people want to become superheroes? And why do more people aspire to be Paris Hilton than Spiderman? The answer to both questions are answered in emphatic and (in the case of Q2, ) hilarious fashion. In doing so, we are given a film that delivers a script which is sharp, witty,and laugh out loud funny, performances which are, in at least one case, jaw-droppingly brilliant, and a story which blends the real, the absurd, the surreal and the downright mad, throws in some graphic violence and more than one turn-on-it's -head comic book subversion moment, and comes up with a treat of fresh, original film making.

Our hero is an ordinary guy, invisible to girls, by his own admission not even the funniest guy in his own group of friends. He decides to buy a tacky costume on line, and without any training or special preparation (other than "fantasising") sets about being a superhero. As such, and as one answer to Q1 earlier, He gets beaten up very badly.

Undeterred, he has another go at facing down bad guys and through a mixture of bravado and dumb luck, gets away with it, and a recording of the incident goes viral on social media. Against the odds, Kick Ass is born.

Meanwhile, a girl that our guy fancies strikes up a relationship, because she thinks he's gay. Other movies would have milked this aspect. In fact other movies have used this as a plot, this just kind of let's it flow.The underplaying of this and other aspects is one of the real joys of this movie, and there are many joys to be had.

He gets into real bother, helping his new friend out, as Kick Ass, trying to warn one of her exes off. At this point the film just goes into orbit with the sudden,sweary, incredibly violent arrival of Hit Girl,who is portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz. This performance is off the scale. Brilliantly written, phenomenally acted, superbly executed, with genuinely shocking and hysterically funny moments.

From that point on, the inter relationships between Kick Ass, Hit Girl, her father (Nicolas Cage in a Poundshop Batman Suit), Red Mist (another superhero) and others, interweave in ways way too complicated to go into here. A recurring theme is that the term superhero becomes stretched, as some characters repeatedly straddle the line between good and bad. Hit girl in particular is part Jackie chan part bruce willis part the first terminator. The casual acceptance of her extreme violence and very crude language is another thing that makes the film flow.

It is wonderful. The final fight scenes are dazzling and pant wettingly funny.The stuff that is initally used for shock value- most notably the fact that hit girl is ELEVEN- is just left out there, as are so many other things. Because of that, it truly, truly works. One of the best movies of it's age.

The Wall
The Wall

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far beyond the confines of Rock Music, 7 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Wall (Audio CD)
1977. In England, the musical and cultural fabric of society is being rent asunder.The barriers between artist and fan are broken down. Even to the extent that fans spitting at their heroes, whilst not particularly pleasant is a symbol of how utilitarian things are becoming. Paul Cook sports a customised "I hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt

6/71977. In Montreal Canada, Roger Waters spits at a fan, and immediately defines in one gesture how isolated and out of touch the old heirachy are with their fans. So out of touch that when Roger plans another album, he uses as his inspiration the isolation of a rock star, i.e. himself. It should never have worked.

But it did. It worked in so many ways, this album is seen, quite rightly, as something far beyond the confines of "Rock Music" or even music itself. Some see it at art.

The phrase "Concept album" does not do it Justice. It is a story, set to music. A full on cinematic experience over four sides of vinyl.All of this set to the most incredible musical score.
It is a story of a rock star, Christened "Pink", looking back over his life. We join him on stage (In the Flesh)and later, he invokes his father who was lost to World war 2. This has left deep resentful scars deep in his psyche,(Another Brick in the Wall pt 1) and left his mother as being over protective and overbearing to the point of psychosis. (Mother)
His schooldays are marked by an authoritarian regime, determined to beat the individuality out of him. (Another Brick in the Wall pt 2). RW grows up, becomes a rock musician, enjoys success and all the benefits of it. (Young Lust) He has a wife who he treats badly, (One of my Turns/ Don't leave me now)He smashes hotel rooms up (Brick pt 3) The more successful he becomes, the more isolated he becomes (Comfortably Numb). He retreats into a world of drugs, 24 hour TV,motel rooms, and flirtations with facism. (In The Flesh) He builds a wall around himself. As the paranoia and mental instability takes hold, he "puts himself on trial" to face all his past misdemenours, and those who have sinned against him. Finally the wall comes down, leaving........ well that is left deliciously open.

This is clearly intended as only part of a full multi media assault, the record, the stage show (which was only in the UK for 15 shows) and the movie, which proved sadly impossible to get right. (it was a brave effort, one to be applauded, but never really lived up to its ambition. It never could really.) If this was made now, the coordination, the marketing, the organisation would be vastly slicker than what surrounded this.

As a stand alone double album, this delivers astonishing music, expertly played. It is original, challenging,fresh. It achieves the impossible. It makes the story of an isolated rock star engaging. It is an album with no filler, that can be listened to as individual songs, but should be listened to as a full story. As a psychoanaltycal experience, well, I hope RW got the therapy he clearly needed. As an artifact it is, if not the most important record of his generation, then surely one of the most stunning. It really is like punk never happened.

RWs obsession with the War, the fall out from it, and the percieved betrayal of forces sacrificed in it would be explored further in The Final Cut, a bitter and depressing tirade of an album. The Wall though is an extraordinary testament to one man's vision. Whether it is art is arguable. It is so much more than just music though.

Now You See Me [DVD]
Now You See Me [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jesse Eisenberg
Price: £4.00

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cards on the table. This is AWFUL., 19 July 2014
This review is from: Now You See Me [DVD] (DVD)
This is big budget, blockbuster nonsense. If you don't look too closely, or choose to overlook most of the contradictions, or plot holes, this just might pass as fairly easy going, brain in a jar entertainment. Hold it up to the merest scrutiny however and it falls apart like...... well, like a pack of cards.
I'm not going to put plot spoilers in, but you will, if you watch it, ask the same questions as i did. The plot, which has a certain amount of quality to it, stretches so thinly it ends up being less convincing than an episode of Scooby Doo. The contradictions are such that I lost patience with it early doors, a decision that was well and truly justified by the time of the big reveal at the end. I won't say what it was, but it destroyed what little credibility there was left, and there really wasn't much of that.
Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are actors who clearly don't need the money but have truly switched off the part of their brain that deals with quality control. Their role here was so generic as to be phoned in, which was, in effect, what they did.
It's almost as if the writers had a good idea for a movie, got massive funding for it, and then forgot to write the last hour. The result is convoluted and unconvincing. It's absolute rubbish. "The more you look, the less you see" or to be more accurate, "The longer you watch, the worse it gets"

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