Sunday, January 16
Thursday, January 13
by Audley Strange on Thu 13 Jan 2011 06:16 PM GMT
First music. Pretty tuff dis cos to be honest much of da stuff released last year dat I experience were not really worf notin' an' dat wot I did listen to din't hold my attention for too long. So mostly I spents 2010 re-discoverin' lots o' early 70's german bands like Faust, Harmonia, Agitiation Free an' Cluster an' da like, which dough I coulds talk about dis A LOT don'ts really fit into a review of music of 2010. So bear dis in mind before ye start wailin' an' goin' "wots about "Hector an da Goat People's epic indie/Crunkclash rap odyssey" or wotever. It coulds be da best album I never heards, but since I never heards it I ain't commentin'.
First, disappointments. "Congratulations" by MGMT. Lotsa people loved MGMT in 2009 an' went out an bought "Oracular Spectacular" on da back o' da singles only ta finds dat dey liked da first half o' da album, but nots da psychedelic druggy second side. Personally I never understoods dat until dis album which has a few good tunes on it but the rubbish tunes are so poor dat it's not one for da ears.
Also Deerhunter's album never did much for me, I still prefer Atlas sounds 2009 "Logos".
Anyway.. top five. It's been tuff but.
Julian Lynch "Mare"
Dis to me sounds like Bon Iver remixed by Kevin Shields o' My Bloody Valentine fame. On second foughts it's also a bit like Syd Barrett's solo stuff flung in for good measure. A weird little album dat is quite hards ta label but best described as evokin' comin' down gently wif friends in da garden as da sun rises as if for da first time.
Morning Benders "Big Echo"
I loves dis album, I listen to it constantly. Tragically ignored by many people cos it's not radically ground breakin' enuff to be hip nor a retro eighties cheez-pop spectacular dat has polluted da year. Simply a great album filled with great songs which dose in da know has taken into dere heart an' will plays it for years. I reckon dis album, ignored dis year, will in da future become a classic.
Everything Everything "Man Alive"
Indie Darlings o' da music press who shot dere loads abouts dem too soon an' da backlash hit just in time for dis release. I can see whys to be honest. Dis weren't wot dey was expectin'. I don't fink anyone would have expected dis, but wif dat saids, one has to admire da courage of attemptin' ta frow everyfin (EVERYFIN!) at yer listener from acapella operatic shenanigans through to retro-eighties cheezpop jazz and' heavy rock, sometimes all at once. Anudder strange album, but one dat seems to critique da future from now. Interesting an' wif some great songs an' a welf o talent. I can't recommends it. But I loves it.
Gorillaz. "Plastic Beach"
Anudder fing dat shouldn't works but does, gloriously. Our favourite cartoon heroes are back with an album dat is boaf soaked wif tragedy and optimism an' an ecological message
wifout bein' preachy. Evidence dat while Albarn an' Hewlett mights be sick to da back teeth o' da concept, it's still da best fing eidder of dem has ever done, increasin'ly so.
Beach House. "Teen Dream"
As I saids earlier dis year, I has no idea why I enjoy dis album so much, but I do. I still do. It's just a bunch o' straightforward lush songs, somewhat twee, somewhat excitin' but always excellent. Definitely me ablum o' da year.
To be honest I only played Left 4 Dead 2, Bayonetta an' World o' Warcraft. so since Bayonetta is da only game from 2010, it wins da number one spot. Congratulations!
Tuesday, January 11
by Audley Strange on Tue 11 Jan 2011 02:58 AM GMT
Rights before we go any furder let's get one fing straight. Inception is not worvy of bein' a movie o' da year. Is we really suggestin' dat a lacklustre an' frankly stoopid plot which has wot 3 levels is an intelligent and complex "clever" blockbuster? It is not! I wos gonna write a big rant about dis in a separate review but frankly it don't deserve one.
If ye enjoyed Inception an' finks "ooooh weren't it deep" scroll down past dis bit or better still, stop wotchin' reality T.V shows an' bangin yer head wif an iron bar, it's givin' ye brain damage. I knows ye monkeys ain't particularly bright, but even my cat Doofles sighed at da end of Inception an' shook its head an spewed up on me carpet in disgust (I say dis, buts I never witnessed it do so, it might just be a bits of mouldy mozzarella from a horrible pizza I hads back in August.)
So why Inception isn't very good. First of all da overt plot of da movie is dat da characters can enter dreams an' make changes in da conciousness of da dreamer using some ill explained convoluted nonsense involvin' constructin' dream architecture an' den runnin' abouts it shootin' aspects of da dreamer (which tends to act like some kind of psychic immune system) wif guns. Dese guys acts like suicide bomber bulls in da works most delicate china shop, just da sorts o' people ye'd trust to do such intricate subtle psychic espionage if ye was a Yahwehsaryan gun loon.
Anyway dey gets a job in which dey has to implant a suggestion deep in da subconciousness of an' individual dis is where da title comes from. Dis "inception" is of course really tuff an' so dey gets a team togedder to perform dis needlessly convoluted an' frankly pointless exercise. As anyone wif da slightest grasp o' understandin' da human mind coulds o' told ye, all o' dis coulds be dones, rights now, ta anyones, wifout such extreme measures. Dey shoulda just got Derren Brown ta do it.
But No! Insteads wot we get is some fankly nice special effects, lots o' shootin' an' a frankly pretentious extrapolation on da nature of reality (on par wif da simplicity o da Matrix) in which Lenny D is stuggling wif da memory o' his dead wife who keeps manifestin' to scroo him up cos dey decided to live long terms in a dream world an' havin' to face mundanity she tops herself an' he blames himself.
In short Lenny D has went bananas cos of mad dead wife. Funnily da same fing happens in Shutter Island also startin' Lenny D, in which he's subject to a mind alterin' psychodrama to try an' cure him after he kills his mad wife who kills dere children. It weren't much better dan dis, but it were a bit more sophisticated.
Back to Inception. Everyfin wins an' we ends wif an' ambiguous is he isn't he still dreamin' By dis point I was finkin' who da fug cares?
I likes Christopher Nolan, I like dat he tries to inject somefin more dan dullard ideas into his movies, but dis was pish.
Straight in at Five.
While quite implausible an' in points actively makin' ye shout at da screen "how stoopid is ye?!!" Buried does wot it sets outs ta do. A man (Ryan Reynolds) kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents is buried in a coffin wif a mobile phone an' held ta ransom in a race against time. Now frankly when I saw Van Wilder, I did fink dat buryin' Ryan Reynolds alive might be a humanitarian acts, but he's redeemed himself since den. Set entirely in da coffin wif him alone (I bet he LOVED dat!) as he struggles wif da uncarin' bureaucracy dat sents him dere as well as da brutal criminals who wants him ta make a ransom video, we begins ta see da point o dis movie. His character is a cipher, it's not about him really, it's about how modern communications is leavin' ye monkeys more, not less detached from each udder. His imprisonment in da coffin is a literal an extreme metaphor for how ye is are cuttin' yerselves off from each udder and how in turn human life an da outside world (entirely missin' from dis movie) is increasin'ly devalued. Not to mention dat it's quite a good friller wif a bold if not a bit predictable endin' given da subject matter. (Yes I is a clever!)
"Exit Through the Gift Shop"
If ye haven't heard o' Banksy dat's your problem. Purportedly a documentary about da elusive "street artist" it soon turns into a documentary about an obsessive film maker who follows "street artists" around an' films dem as dey do dere works, who makes such an incomprehensible mess of his documentary about "street artists" dat he becomes one himself calls himself Mr Brainwash an gets his contacts to hype him up for his big Los Angeles show where all da fools by his rubbish stuff. Still wot we actually gets is up for debate dough I guess da main point is dat age old question "what is art" which was also examined in a similar way by Orson Welles in F For Fake.
So far dere is 2 skools of fought. One is dat Banksy and his co-conspirator Shepard Fairey essentially created dis movie to ambigiously reveal how dey groomed Mr Brainwash to sell substandard crap to an' idiotic public and da udder is dat it's all real an' da public are idiots.
Can't argue wif any o' dat. Whomever da jokes on, it's a good one.
Anudder documentary (I told ye I wos a Clever). Dis one about young men who is hired guns for an aggressive Superpower. Dese invaders is fightin' frankly psychotic pig ignorant assholes dat probably deserve ta dies, but bein' dat da superpower has continually made a mess o' every fight it's ever been in, dey ends up havin' not only to fight pig ignorant assholes, but pig ignorant locals too. Set on a hill in da middle of Nowheres, Afghanistan, dese hired guns is under extreme conditions, as dey try an' gets rid of da pig ignorant assholes who has decided dat dis is where dey draw da line.Under almost constant fire, alone an' under life freatenin' duress, we see somfin' dat Hollywood movies like da Hurt Locker attempt but ultimately fail to address (and society increasin'ly seems to as well) which is dat dese hired guns, placed in such an extreme situation forgo da frivolities of da sickenin' princely ego driven culture dey has left behind an' instead become utterly reliant on each udder. They no longer are individuals, dey are a unit, dey define each udder, are vital an necessary to each udder and dare I say it love each udder. Not in a bumfoolery way (dough maybe now DADT is out da way dey can gets on wif a bit o dat if dey feel so inclined) but in a way that is utterly missin' from life back home.
In a deeply harrowin' scene when one of dere number dies, we don't see a Hollywood version where everyone gets angry and swears revengeance, no, what we see is men, grown men, stunned, in total shock, crying and howling at da loss.
For dat scene alone it's worf yer eye time, but da nervous and nihilistic post match interviews interspersed frough dese scenes of intensity increase da volume of da entire fing.
The Last Exorcism.
Anudder documentary. A false one (perhaps like Exit frough da Gift Shop) which people claim is a horror movie, but really except for the fantastic 1970's Satan Movie endin' is more a movie about lack of faith versus fundamental belief, dough (agains like Exit frough da Gift Shop), we cannot fully accept dat wot we is seein' is even meant ta be a documentary in da first place. Essentially a tale about a disillusioned pastor who considers dat religion rests in da power o' drama an' as such "performs" exorcisms for gullible Jehovah cultists for cash. We learn quickly about his interests in magic (as in pick a card not as in sacrificin' goats an' talkin ta da likes o me) an' film-makin' as he explains how he is goin' ta show da documentary crew just wot it is his fake exorcisms entail. He doesn't see himself as a conman dough because he considers dat while da service he performs is fake, it benefits da witless fools dat asks for it in da first place.
So, he goes to da house of dis Fundamentalist dude who's daughter has been gettin' up at night an' guttin' his animals where he performs his fake exorcism an' leaves wif da cash.
Den fings get really really bad.
I'll give no more away save ta say, pay attention an' fink about wot's goin' on an da plot, which isn't complex, but clever in a way Inception so desperately tries to be an utterly fails to.
I laffed an' laffed an' laffed. One o da stoopidest, entertainin' most outrageously violent offerin's from mainstream cinema since Kill Bill. In a medium which is constantly tryin' to make serious and legitimise da ridiculous concept dat people who had superpowers would become vigilantes in stoopid costumes, Kick Ass pokes fun at da entire medium. Den pokes some more, den pokes a big bleedin' hole frough it an' tells it to go fuck itself. While it is a bit "annoyin' teen" dat I complained about in last blogs w/r to Misfits, Just see this, it's a riot. A kid decides ta becomes a superhero an' is shit at it but neverdaless gets accidently caught up wif psychotic vigilantes and brutal organised criminals. It's great!
NEXT. Games and Music.
Saturday, January 8
by Audley Strange on Sat 08 Jan 2011 05:16 AM GMT
Befores we gets started, a word from da Webster.
Hi folks. 2010 started off well, went downhill and eventually plummeted into a chasm of electrified razorwire. Still it's 2011 and I'm feeling pretty positive (and well now) despite my grandfather still struggling between life and death in a medically bewildering state where his staved, sepsis addled body refuses to stop even though he wishes to pass on. It's given me a lot to think about with regards to the ape has a couple of hundred thousand years of history and an even longer lineage and the modern human has only been kicking about for about ten thousand at best and has no precedent. Many people think that the "self" is the captain of the ship but in this case it seems to have been limited to captive passenger.
Anyway... Audley advises me that the reason this blog contained little but my apologies for my tardiness and problems over the last year is that "2010 wos rubbish, ye monkeys better raise yer games dis year!"
Now over to her for her review of the year...
SLACKER!!!!! It's always sumfin wif dat ones. It's dat times o' year (I woulds have done dis earlier but Da Webster got dat swine flu I accidently caked up awhiles back an I weren'ts facin' dat demon piggy agains) where I reviews da very best media stuffs o' 2010.
Surpisin'ly da best seems ta have come from T.V. From da nonsensical Cheezy suckfest of True Blood wif its Faires Vampire supremacists and blood addicted Nazi werewolves, frough to da epic epicness of Boardwalk Empire, dere were a lot o' good shows dis year. Here is me top 5.
Sons Of Anarchy. While dis was probably da worst season o' dis butch gun runnin' biker extravaganza it still had much goin' for it. Da lame paddyfication of da Feem tune lets it down almost as much as Titus Welliver's Van Dyke style Oirish accent, but dis was more dan made up for by Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal's phenomenal actin' as well as some fine comedy moments from Kim Coates' "Tig". A show better watched in a couple o' sittin's radder dan weekly, it still delivered da goods and promised a lot more for next season.
Misfits. By all rights no one apart from simpletons should like dis show. Smart arsed wisecrackin' teenage/20 somefin bufoonery is very popular at da moment from Inbetweeners to da downright Autistic Spectrum disordered Big Bang Feory. Normally I'd say draft em, put dem in some camo's an' fling dems at da Taliban! However I changed me mind slightly after watchin' dis. Essentially it's a bunch o' anti-social tosspots who chose to abandon any pretence at self betterment in da pursuit o' "cool" an' ended up takin' dat to it's logical ASBO wieldin' extreme as a bunch o' stoopid criminals doin' community service an' getting superpowers for some reason. In udder words utter rubbish. It should not work. Dey is all annoyin' gits, but somehow dat's da beauty of dis show. If it had been made across da ocean in dat Banana Republic called America, dey would all be handsome an' charmin' an a little bit risky, but it weren't. It were made in da U.K. wif a budget o' fifty pence and dey is all unlovable scum. Strangely dough it does work, it never considers itself more dan rubbish an' somehow because o' dis transcends it. Dere superpowers are pretty straight forward but really da show is more about dem just bein' wankers.
Andudder HBO Gangsta show see... dis time dey've went back to da source material see... Prohibition kicks off an' suddenly we is followin' da deeply corrupt an' pitiful Nucky Thomson (Steve Buscemi) as he and his Repugnicant chums join forces wif criminals to keep da hooch rollin' into Atlantic City. Filled wif nudity, madness, serious bloody violence top notch swearin', costumes and sets which looks like dey were responsible for da near collapse of Greece, Ireland and Portugal as well as some of da best actin' on T.V. dis is anudder shinin' beacon in HBO's catalogue. Watch it.
I cannot recommend dis show highly enuff. So I won't but to says dat if ye don't watch dis show ye is missin' somfin dat in my opinion pisses all over Da Wire, which itself was one of da best fings ever made. Still if ye isn't watchin' it, dere's probably no hope for ye.
The Venture Brothers.
(takes a deep breath) Remember when Da Simpsons was good? I mean when you would watch its an' say I can't believe how funny dis is, how clever it is, how daring it is? Remember? Sometime before Bush got into power and dey neutered da writers in da second biggest act of cultural terrorism after Shock and Awe? Remember? Before dey decided ta add 20% schmaltz ta every episode an' make da main focus da self empowerment o' Lisa Simpson? Well da last season o Da Venture Brothers reminded me o' that. Sure it's very much a niche show, if ye don't get superheroes ye may well not likes it, but to dose wif even a modicum of knowledge abouts da field should find lots ta love. Jackson Publick an Doc Hammer have made sumfin wonderful here.
While primarily a show about two junior action heroes (sort of like Johnny Quest) what dis show does is subvert dat idea by making it about self delusion, disappointment and above all failure. Da characters are rich, an whereas prior to last season it was almost all epically stoopid tomfoolery wot we has now is a kind of epically stoopid comedy soap opera in which da superheroes are normal everyday humans, wif dere weaknesses and neuroses, arrogance an' self denial. People used to talks about Watchmen as da best example o' dis. But dat's old hat an' is cold an' detached compared to The Venture Brothers.
I remains in awe.
Coming up next... Top 5 movies.
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