Long time, no see
Just haven't been blogging all that much lately, or seen the need to
blog. But now I'm back in business, at least in a part-time sort of way.
So, how has life gone since I went away?
Movies: There are a few movie-watching controversies right now
that I'm going to have to give my position on: I'm pro-King Kong (I
even liked the first section) and pro-Jarhead. Didn't much take
to Narnia (the use of the "something's bad there... wait, no,
it's good" cliché over and over again really didn't appeal to my sense
of true movie-making, or to even the book, although I accept that they
did a pretty good job with what material they had). Missed The
Producers due to not being anywhere near a decent cinema over
Christmas and so will have to wait for a video rental. Saw Bittersweet
Life at EIFF last year; if you're anywhere near a cinema showing
it, please do, it's no Oldboy but it's still a worthwhile
watch. March of the Penguins is out on Region 1, so anyone who
wants to see it can. Must see Cock and Bull Story, which for
some reason is only at the Cameo (Cineworld are still showing Cheaper
by the Dozen 2, however.) I have no position on Brokeback
Mountain, because I haven't seen it.
Music: I've been listening to a lot of Kraftwerk lately, having
got the Minimum-Maximum DVD (lovely DTS track, by the way) and
an epiphany came to me: Electric Café isn't actually all
that bad, is it? Sure, it's no Man-Machine, but it's got a sort
of rhythmic undertone that propels the whole thing along in a very
listenable, almost dancey way; and "The Telephone Call" is
eight minutes of phone-sampling techno brilliance. Anyway, besides The
Mix it looks like an absolute masterpiece.
Blogging: I really need to get a better blogging system, but I
don't want to pay. Decisions, decisions...
is really depressing. As is George Galloway going on Celebrity
Big Brother. What the hell was he thinking? Obviously not about
So far, the best musical thing to happen this year should hopefully be
Shayne Ward getting kicked off the #1 position; which will probably
happen this week (to the Arctic Monkeys, dear God), at least according
to Popbitch. Else, I'm looking forward to the Belle and Sebastian album.
entry posted by Inquisitor at 18:07
edited on: 25/01/2006 18:14.
Updated my blogroll - knocked off a few, put on a few, changed addresses
of others - and [edit: couldn't fix the page titling because my software
won't let me]. Added more obvious permalinking too - it was very
subtle before. Maybe I'll feel confident enough to do some CSS changes
when I have more time, or possibly even write an article.
ISX 2005 List #2: Films of Last Year
In a belated followup to the previous "music of 2005" list, as
discovered in my drafts folder, here's a grossly incomplete films of
Antibodies (saw at EIFF, so doesn't really count) - Truly
brilliant German serial killer movie with a psychological bent that
knows exactly how to involve its audience on a primal level; it also,
happily, knows both when and when not to use gore, much like
David Fincher's Seven (the last great serial killer movie). The
less you know about this movie, the better; I knew very little on
going in, and it only aided the experience. An absolute must see.
Batman Begins - It's a tribute to how good this movie is that
it ends up being the best comic-book movie of the year - in the year
of Sin City. Tim Burton didn't really get Batman (he got the
villains, though), and Joel Schumacher was, let's face it, crap,
although Batman Forever is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Chris
Nolan and David Goyer, on the other hand, do get Batman, and
also know how to write a decent motion picture; Batman Begins
is a comic-book movie with a immensely solid script structure, densely
interconnected and near enough making sense. The structure is
impeccable; the villain choice brilliant; the proto-Batmobile plain
cool and Christian Bale excellent. If only more comic-book movies
were like this.
Crimen Ferpecto (Ferpect Crime) - Yeah, another EIFF movie, but
a great one; funny, twisted and intricately done. Coincidentally, its
director Alex de la Iglesia was once attached to the Doom
movie, and may have made a better fist of it than the guys that did...
Downfall (Der Untergang) - Again, technically doesn't count
because it was made in 2004, but we only got it in 2005. It is simply
an outstanding achievement - by "humanising Hitler", as its detractors
put it, it shows us why people were so devoted to him and why he was
able to get away with it for so long. The movie feels real.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - It's a lot funnier than any movie with a
scene involving electrical genital torture has any right to be; to the
extent that even the genital torture is funny, in its own brilliantly
warped black way. A must see.
Land Of The Dead - I have a rather contrary opinion on Land;
it was one of the most engaging cinema experiences I've had this year,
pretty much non-stop zombie fun. Remember, fans loathed Day
when it came out as well; now, Day is seen as a modern classic,
and I hope that in the future Land will be seen the same way.
There already seems to be a fanbase growing...
Serenity - It's pretty well done, although uneven; besides, we
need more decent SF, it's a very underdone genre right now.
Sideways - That Paul Giamatti performance is really a thing of
wonder; it makes the movie, despite its slow start. Besides, it's
Sin City - See the Batman Begins review - Sin City,
like BB, is a comic book movie done right, true to its origins and
true to cinema as a medium.
The Aristocrats - The best one-joke film of 2005.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - If you hate Wes Anderson,
that's fine. I, on the other hand, rather like his films, and Life
Aquatic is no exception.
Wallace and Gromit in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit - If you
don't like this movie, you have no soul. Period.
And the disappointments of the year (not necessarily all bad):
Doom - How on earth do you dumb down a videogame
plotline? The answer, unfortunately, is this movie: you swap demons
from hell with "mutations caused by 'Chromosome 24'", add a really
stupid first-person scene and rip off Aliens. Thanks,
Hollywood. The only reason this isn't in the next section is because
of the decent-to-not-horrendous direction, good DP, proper monsters
and the Clint Mansell score; if you want plot, not to mention have
some actual fun, go play the much misunderstood and majorly underrated
"Doom 3" instead.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - Sorry, I didn't get it.
I got Adaptation, and I can tell that Jim Carrey puts in a
fantastic performance, but the movie really didn't grab me. Your
mileage may vary.
Napoleon Dynamite - I didn't get this either, and not in
a good way. It really is a one-joke movie, and the one joke is very
close to the end. Nicely quirky, but not satisfying at all. Again,
your mileage may vary.
War Of The Worlds - Spielberg ending strikes again; what is a
very well done freakout of a film ends up wrecking all its good work
in the last ten minutes. Shame.
Series 4 of 24 - (Sure, it's not a movie, but I
don't watch that much TV so it's going in here) - they really should
have ended after S3, rather than go to the contrived lengths they did
throughout S4 (and, according to the spoilers, in S5 too.) Sigh.
And by far the worst thing this year...
The Business - Loud, obnoxious and supremely idiotic. 'Nuff