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Crash [DVD]
Crash [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Spader

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Prophecy is ragged and dirty", 1 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Crash [DVD] (DVD)
David Cronenberg, challenging as always, has made one of the finest films of all time about probably one of the strangest and most inherently repulsive subjects to be depicted on screen; the idea that the trauma of a car accident can be a sexually stimulating, revelatory event. That in itself has to be admired.

There's a lot more to be admired here, the film looks stunning; like a stylish half way house between voyeurism and documentary, the glacial performances and sparse dialogue perfectly suggest the characters' needs for extreme arousal in the otherwise impersonal and isolated world the film depicts and Elias Koteas' stunning performance is the black hole of obsessive but intellectualized sexual energy around which these characters revolve. Rosanna Arquette's character also deserves a special mention for being iconoclastically kinky in such a specific and original way, another special mention should go to Howard Shore for the menacingly angular soundtrack.

You may find it repulsive, you may even find it seductive but this is a film that doesn't leave the option of indifference open.

The Room [DVD]
The Room [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tommy Wiseau

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Compellingly Bad, 1 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Room [DVD] (DVD)
The Room has been described by Entertainment Weekly as "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" and it really is fair to say that Writer/Director/Producer/Lead Actor Tommy Wiseau is the Anti-Orson Welles. Writing, directing, producing and starring in your own film is a dangerous move to make for anyone, if you fail you will look vain and self delusional, here Tommy Wiseau fails on an apocalyptic scale. I won't discuss what the film is actually about because that doesn't even matter, instead I'll undertake the futile task of trying to convey just how bad it is and how, paradoxically, that's actually a great thing.

I've seen a lot of bad acting, it's usually boring and painful but Tommy Wiseau has the rare gift of being so bad he's engrossing to watch, his performance is morbidly fascinating like a car pile up of thespian faux pas exponentially escalating into a bigger and bigger heap of twisted metal and bleeding corpses, you find yourself on the edge of your seat as you wonder how he'll deliver the next piece of clumsy, unconvincing dialogue or what gem of excruciatingly stilted body language will come next. Wiseau comes across like a very creepy, very stoned hybrid of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Doctor Nick from The Simpsons, I found myself wondering whether he concussed himself before takes to achieve this, he is an icon of atrociousness.

Beyond Wiseau's mesmerizingly terrible acting everything is a mess; the script, cinematography, editing, direction, the rest of the cast, honestly there are no redeeming features, only ineptitude everywhere you look. It's not even as if The Room were made by someone with no idea how to make films, it's like it's been made by someone who's never seen a film to even have the faintest idea what one should be like.

So why is it a must see then? Because it's hilarious, there are so many quotable lines you can enjoy time and time again with friends (I won't spoil any here), so many hysterically catastrophic scenes to rip apart like the 20 second long flower shop scene which has to be the most tightly packed clusterf**k of gaffs ever witnessed on screen, there's also great potential for drinking games such as; drink whenever Tommy says 'Oh Hai!', drink whenever Tommy does that creepy laugh, drink whenever someone throws a football like a kindergarten child, drink whenever there's a close up shot of the notorious framed picture of a spoon etc.etc.

So this failed romantic melodrama ended up being the defining masterpiece of the genre I call 'Accidental Comedy' and we the viewing public are all the richer for it.

(I didn't go for the ironic high rating because while this should be enjoyed I really don't think it should be congratulated.)

Videodrome [DVD] [1983]
Videodrome [DVD] [1983]
Dvd ~ James Woods
Offered by i want one of those
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars "Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome?", 1 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Videodrome [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
James Woods is brilliantly cast as Max Renn, head of CIVIC-TV, a controversial television station which broadcasts sensational content from 'softcore pornography to hardcore violence'. Woods pulls off an electric performance as a sleazy, morally ambiguous but irrepressibly likable anti-hero who is fascinated when he stumbles upon an obscure broadcast of a show called 'Videodrome' which is ostensibly nothing but chillingly realistic scenes of torture and murder. His date Nikki Brand, a kinky radio hostess played with simmering erotic intensity by Debby Harry, immediately embraces 'Videodrome' seeing in it an outlet for her extreme sadomasochistic desires. The couple separately go in search of the source of 'Videodrome', each for their own reasons, and find that it is something beyond their worst fears or wildest fantasies.

This is a unique vision of surreal technological horror, Cronenberg employs his trademark 'body horror' style to blood curdling effect as visual metaphor for the impact of media upon our lives and sense of reality. Although the film is dated by the fact it centres around a now obsolete technology (videotape) the themes seem perhaps even more prescient in the age of the internet. Make no mistake, despite the luridness apparent in the synopsis, this is a film made by a highly intelligent writer/director who is serious about exploring with great verve; science, technology and the effects they have on our psychology and society.

I wouldn't recommend this if you don't like the feeling of being left bewildered by a film, Videodrome burns through a lot of heavy imagery and ideas in it's fairly short (89 mins) running time and could've perhaps done with more time so the pace could be slowed and more clarity brought to the latter half of the film, conversely though the film's bursting at the seems, too much in too little time, furious energy is probably why it's so good to rewatch, it feels different each time.

All in all I love this film for being a diamond in the rough; unique, shockingly vivid and reaching in some very interesting directions. A classic midnight selection. Gore and depravity for the thinking man.

Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 12 April 2013
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
After being guttingly dissapointed by the Shobaleader One project, I was prepared for the worst so this album came as a very pleasant surprise. After years of live instrument focused ventures like Just a Souvenir, Solo Electric Bass 1 and Shobaleader, Squarepusher finally has swung right back across the broad spectrum of his music to revisit and update his purely electronic sound, as such some comparisons to Go Plastic are abound although the style and approuch of Ufabulum is quite radically different.

Gone are the sample based (often amen) breakbeats, on this album you can hear each individual drum sound has been placed by itself and manipulated with care, often ride cymbals slide and blur in strange, silky flurries. The first half of the album is laced with the kind of medlodic focus that's come into play since Hello Everything, particularly on the accessable and funky tracks Stadium Ice and Energy Wizard. The towering moments of side one however are the first 2 tracks, 4001 begins with a great beat, goes on to show Pusher hasn't lost his penchant or talent for acid basslines and then explodes into a chorus of furious, driving, effervescent trance with an infectious beat that keeps renewing it's assault every few bars. Unreal Square is classic Squarepusher mocking genre parody, like My Red Hot car was for 2 step but this time it's Dubstep he has in his sights, the cheesy orchestral refrain (so cheaply employed so often by dubstep producers) is one of the album's most jarring moments but it works and is well placed as a final middle finger before the twisted sonic blitzkrieg of the track's breakdown.

The album's second half will perhaps be more immediately pleasing to many Squarepusher fans as The Metellurgist takes things into darker territories, Drax 2 then seems like a natural centrepiece for the record with it's slow tense build as acid basslines seem to gather force and cinematic dark ambience climbs omenously up through the mix until it reaches it's final brief but thunderous attack. If one track's going to sell this record it's Dark Steering, apparently the soundtrack to Jenkinson's visions of nuclear apocolypse, it certainly fits that bill, somehow terrifying and uplifting at the same time and those shreikng engine sounds. The approiately titled 303 Scopem Hard is psychopathic sounding industrial funk at it's finest and the finale Ecstatic Shock reconciles the melodic lighter shades of the first side with the darker, winding beats of the second into one last brilliant blast of avant dancefloor madness, cohesive but packed with so many different ideas just like all his best work.

Homefront (Xbox 360)
Homefront (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £8.12

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 'Mediocre' would be too kind for this, 13 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Homefront (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
After a promising opening cut scene, which I have to say was pretty cool, I switched off the xbox 20 minutes in because I had a reaction to how bad this peice of crap is. The enemies are utterly predictable, except when they spawn from nowhere or from inside a wall as others have already mentioned, damage is inconsistent and makes no sense, the mission designs where utterly bland and derivitive given the concept of the game. I especially hating not being able to go ahead of your irritating 'friends' in this game and being forced to listen to them spout a load of stuff I really couldn't be bothered to listen to, I hate this type of thing in game generally and here it's downright offensive.
Multiplayer does redeem it slightly, even so it's nothing that great.
Overall it's like someone's taken the game mechanics of COD and horribly violated them.
Sadly there are plans for a sequel...

Price: £9.23

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Turn, 16 Nov. 2010
This review is from: d'Demonstrator (Audio CD)
A dissapointment by Squarepusher's usually high standards, it's not a bad album but it's not great either. Of course everyone must be aware that Jenkinson, rather than doing his usual thing of performing the works entirely by himself now has (or supposedly has, as some suspect) a mystery band behind him, this being 'Shobaleader One', I don't mind this especially except that I miss the loose as rapper's jeans jazz rock drumming characteristic of albums like 'Music is Rotted One Note' and 'Ultravisitor' which has been replaced with bland drumming that wouldn't sound out of place on most current pop albums (WHY?!!).

I don't particularly mind the fact that most of D'demonstrator is actual songs rather than instrumentals (which have made up about 99% of Pusher's previous catalogue), although there is no organic singing, all vocoder and of course most of the lyrics are indistinguishable. What I do mind is the album's lack of any sense of adventure compared to everything else he's ever done, even 'Do You Know Squarepusher' the other dud Squarepusher album was at least adventurous (especially so actually) but this seems easy and like he's perhaps trying to please a few listeners too many.

'Plug Me In' is the opening track and the first of several ventures into slick R'n'B, with possibly the album's best use of the robotic vocoder, I can't help but love it, 'Abstract Lover' is a similarly pleasant pure cyber R'n'B track. 'Endless Night' is where Pusher throws a curveball into this new style of his, it begins with a great bassline (although sadly one of the few great bass moments of this album), then threaded through the peice are sections that fuse thumping apocalyptic metal with R'n'B vocals, interesting, still not quite a masterpeice but the closest thing D'Demonstaror has.

'Laser Rock' is a bit lame and 'Maximum Planck' is utterly dire (if you want to hear Squarepusher in metal mode I suggest you try the vastly superior 'Steinbolt' from 'Ultravisitor' or 'Delta V' from 'Just a Souvenir'), it pains me to say that about anything Squarepusher's done but they are beyond let downs.

'Megazine' of all the album's tracks this is the one probably most responsible for all the horrible Daft Punk comparisons but it's better, it's a stomping neo-dance-rock tune, with the most tongue in cheek metal inspired/piss taking bass solo you'll ever hear, I do and don't like it, I also do and don't want to like it, alot like D'demonstrator as a whole. 'Into the Blue' is a good, dark, moody, quirky tune with some nice chunky basslines. 'Frisco Wave' is a joyously cheesy, smooth, jazz funk instrumental, reminiscent of tracks like 'Bubble Life', 'Theme from Sprite' or maybe one of the 'Star Time' tracks. 'Cryptic Motion' is a respectable single, funky basslines and beautiful melodies that linger in the background, solid track, although it feels like a simplistic pop refinement of previous tones rather than an exciting new experiement with a life of it's own, a problem across the board on D'demonstrator.

I'll check out his next release to see if Squarepusher returns to form but in the meantime this album will be spending alot of lonesome time on the shelf whilst 'Hard Normal Daddy', 'Go Plastic', 'Music is Rotted' etc. carry on jamming on the turntable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2010 12:51 AM GMT

Just A Souvenir
Just A Souvenir
Price: £13.12

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Squarepusher at Play, 20 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Just A Souvenir (Audio CD)
This is not simply another Squarepusher album, even after the accessibility and sci-fi kitsch of Hello Everything, I was taken aback by how zany this album sounds; it's like Pusher's Sgt. Pepper's. It's also the album that's most focused on live instruments since Music is Rotted One Note and provides a great alternative to Rotted One Note for people wanting to hear Jenkinson's virtuoso playing but who haven't been able to get to grips with that album (for which I don't blame them, although it is a masterpiece after some perseverance).

For Squarepusher as a producer I'd say this could be his best, the merging of live and electronic sounds is more seamless and ingeniously put to use than ever before, for the best example listen to Potential Govaner; perhaps the most brilliantly crafted track on the album, even if it verges on flashy you'd have to be a cold person not to enjoy it.

The downside of this album though is that among the high points there are too many ambling interludes of Tod Dockstader influenced psychedelic classical guitar, which are interesting initially but really don't hold up and other unfortunate lows like the strangely grating new wave/cyber jazz song A Real Woman.

The album's biggest differentiator is the presence of rock music, okay, Do You Know had a Joy Division cover and Visitor had Steinbolt's digital metal but Pusher's never explored rock as much or in as pure a form as on this album. The results are fantastic; Delta V is great for its fuzzing, pounding rhythms and its mechanical sounding breakdown that holds host to a seriously good beat and undeniably satisfying bass fills. Then Planet Gear is a blissfully bombastic piece of space age rock with a grin inducingly uplifting refrain, I'd say it's among his best tunes.

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