11 02 2010

The week has got away from me a bit.

Here’s some music to tide you over:

It’s cheesy but, so help me, I like it.

Dance While The Sky Crashes Down

21 01 2010

Some music for this evening:

Billie Jean

11 07 2009

Because I like Amanda Palmer and the song rather than anything else.

I’m only a few years younger than Amanda and Jason and was, like them, a fan of Thriller and Bad when I was youngster. However, I note that my childhood record collection also included a former soap star currently on stage in the West End and his diminutive co-star from said soap.

So childhood me: not such the music aficionado.

Anyhow, this is one of Amanda’s better covers. I still think it needs some drums.

A kind of magic

30 06 2009

Because I miss Freddie more than I will miss Michael:

Also, in the rest of world: shit is happening. Just saying.

Review: Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen

28 06 2009


Michael Bay returns to cinemas with a second installment of the Transformers franchise, that glorious silly commercial-in-disguise piece of Americana film making. I’m not being sarcastic: I enjoyed the first film as I marked on this blog at the time.

The question for me was: could Bay continue to surf the nostalgia or would he wipe out?

The story picks up a couple of years after the first film. The Autobots are working for the U.S. government hunting down Decepticons, Sector Seven has been disbanded and Sam is still seeing Mikaela as he heads to college. Things are ostensibly going well but that would make for a dull film. It turns out the federal government are growing concerned that the Autobots are actually attracting the Decepticons, in reality the Decepticons want something called The Matrix of Leadership for someone called The Fallen and Sam appears to be channeling the same information that drove his great grandfather mad.

Keeping up?

No, and to be honest I didn’t either. The film has plenty of Bayesque action sequences that do exactly what you’d expect and involve big explosions, breathtaking CG and provide plenty of spectacle on the IMAX. There’s also the requisite leering camera all over Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas pushing this film hard as the boys own adventure that it is. Plenty of laughs from a comedy double act of Autobots, John Turturro back as the mad Agent Simmons and Kevin Dunn and Julie White are a cringeworthy delight as Sam’s parents. All the elements are there for a successful sequel.


The film is plagued by odd decisions and poor choices. There is a confusing, complex storyline that really has no place in a film that should be light-hearted fluff.  A poor choice of actor for the character of The Fallen in Tony Todd*. Todd’s distinctive voice is instantly recognisable, as well as totally out of place, and breaks the suspension of disbelief because of his association with other iconic characters, destroying the point of doing photoreal CG. I didn’t see the Fallen, I heard the Candyman.

I am flummoxed by the decision to have Shia LeBoeuf play the straight man as it throws off the dynamic of the central characters and necessitates the presence of an extremely irritating sidekick in Ramon Rodriguez. LeBouf is entertaining as a comedic lead but dull as a straight out hero verging on the tragic.

The combined impact of these flaws is to make the narrative arc much harder to follow than in the first film. This lack of coherence is further compounded by sloppy editing and poor continuity that makes the first act feel more like an episode of the cartoon than a multimillion pound blockbuster and not in a good way.

That said, at its core Transformers is – selling toys aside – about giant alien robots kicking the shit out of each other and that’s something I, for one, can live with. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy Revenge of the Fallen. Unlike it’s predecessor there are much more extended and frequent Transformer fight sequences, sweeps of new robots and the welcome addition of Soundwave. The film hits enough of the high spots to provide the spectacle and enjoyment of a decent popcorn film that doesn’t tax the brain too much. Even G – who has no childhood nostalgia built up around Transformers – enjoyed it.

If you’ve seen the first film, are prepared to go in without expectation and enjoy popcorn films then you’ll have a good time.

Otherwise: give it a miss.

* Note: I am not saying Tony Todd is a bad actor, just that his casting in this role is problematic because his voice is so distinctive he is recognisable and that I find it hard to hear his voice without thinking of Candyman.

Manic Monday

23 03 2009

Being lazy again, surprised to come across this acoustic version:

And written by Prince but you knew that. Oh, you knew that.

I’ll get me coat.

Happy Birthday War

20 03 2009

It’s the sixth anniversary of the second war in Iraq. About all the excuse I need to post Mitch Benn’s video What I Quite Enjoy:

Mitch’s Iron Maiden pastiche from last week’s Now Show is a thing of beauty, you can probably still get it on iplayer or itunes. Mitch is also on Twitter, there are worse people to follow – me for instance.

Nothing ever happens

24 02 2009

F*** me. This was twenty years ago:

Surely, I can’t be that old.

Minor Oasis

18 02 2009

I’m really quite busy at the moment juggling extra work at the day job and trying to plough on with Forever.

In lieu of actual content and, indeed, a review of the gig I went to at the beginning of the month here is a video clip from the gig. Amanda’s slow version of Oasis:

If you think the UK music channels and radio stations are being tools, and I do, let them know. Details here.