Thursday, April 26, 2007

Movie Haiku - Fracture

Dir: Gregory Hoblit

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike

Shoots his cheating wife
runs rings round hotshot lawyer
thinks his dick is good

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - The Reaping

Dir: Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, Stephen Rea

River runs with blood
chosen girl brings ten plagues
we like Swank's pert bum

soulmining rating: **

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hallo Spaceboy

Catching Sunshine

I bought Trey's (Benedict Wong) Icarus II costume from Sunshine off eBay last week.

The Prop Store are auctioning off a whole host of props and costumes from the film, click here to have a look at the latest items - and happy bidding!

Feed The Doggy

With Ben the dog in Broadwas-on-Teme

Apologies for the lack of posts this last week. I have been away on holiday catching up with family in Worcestershire.

Normal service will be resumed shortly. Like about now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Movie Haiku - Day Watch

Dir: Temur Bekmambetov

Cast: Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Poroshina, Vladimir Menshov, Galina Tyunina

Find the chalk of fate
stop the great others meeting
drive car up the wall

soulmining rating: ****

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Mummers at Sussex Arts Club

The Mummers - Sussex Arts Club

And so to the final day of our alternative 'Song-cram' festival. On Tuesday evening Andy and I found ourselves at Sussex Arts Club to watch the rebirth of The Mummers. Formerly known as Mummer (and as I later discovered, also released music as Raissa in the late nineties - which was funny as I have some of those early singles!) singer Raissa has relaunched her band as an eight-piece outfit, full of strings and piano. It's the first time I've been to see a band purely through discovering them on MySpace - I normally ignore 99.9% of band requests - but as this performance proved, an occasional gem can be found. The new band provided a lush orchestral background to Raissa's vocals, her voice strong and very much reminscent of Emiliana Torrini and Bjork, two fellow singers I greatly admire. Obviously the songs were all new to me, although I did recognise Stuck In The Middle from their MySpace page, plus they played an unusual interpretation of Smashing Pumpkins' 1979. A real talent to watch and accordingly now established as my new favourite local band. Splosh!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Feist at the Komedia

Feist - Brighton Komedia

There was more 'Song-cram' action for Andy and I last night with the second gig of our blagging trilogy, in the shape of Feist at the Komedia. Canadian singer Leslie Feist is a member of Broken Social Scene, has collaborated with Peaches, and is about to release her second solo album The Reminder here next week. I'd only heard a few tracks from her first album Let It Die plus her new track My Moon My Man but my instincts told me this was going to be something special. From the first song it was clear that she possesses an incredible voice with hints of Liz Fraser, Heather Nova and Patti Smith in there, and is a worthy addition to my pantheon of favoured female singer/songwriters. I must admit that I was expecting her sound to be at the more jazzy end of the spectrum but in fact the majority of her stuff was actually more mainstream. Keen to promote her forthcoming album the set was peppered with new material including her current single and the popular 1,2,3,4. Having quickly developed a rapport with the audience she got us to vote whether she should perform the encore of Mushaboom solo or with her band - we went for the latter - and so ended a very special performance. My instincts were right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Play It Cool in April

Andy and I continued our "Song-cram" festival last night with a DJ set at Arthouse for Sandy's birthday where we played nearly six hours of tunes, but that session aside I haven't listened to quite so much stuff this past month. After buying a ton of new music last month, April has been relatively low key, and I haven't bought many new CDs at all. Anyway, here's my picks for this month:
  • Viva Voce - Lovers, Lead The Way! (Full Time Hobby)
  • Viva Voce - The Heat Can Melt Your Brain (Full Time Hobby)
  • Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control (Back Yard) single
  • Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere (Reprise)
  • The Sleepy Jackson - Lovers (Virgin)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Grand National - Feed The Pony's Tips

Yes, it's time for my annual flutter on the horses so here's my tips for today's Grand National race, taking place at Aintree at 4:15pm this afternoon. Last year was a debacle but I've had plenty of good fortune with this race in previous years, so I'm quietly confident as always. There's not one horse that stands out for me this year, it looks a pretty close field, so instead of going for a straight win I've elected to place four Each Way bets at £2.50 each, making a total outlay of £20. Here's my selections and starting prices:

  • Numbersixvalverde 14-1
  • Longshanks 28-1
  • Royal Auclair 40-1
  • Thisthatandtother 100-1

Elsewhere in the office, Darren is tipping Clan Royal - "He might be old but he knows Aintree like the back of his hand" - whilst Dom remains undecided. Check back here later to see how we did!

[Updated 5:07pm]

Well that was a disaster! Numbersixvalverde and Longshanks both went the distance but finished 6th and 7th respectively, Thisthatandtother pulled up at the last fence and Royal Auclair fell midway through. The winning horses were as follows:
  • Silver Birch 33-1
  • McKelvey 12-1
  • Slim Pickings 33-1
  • Philson Run 100-1

Still, it was a good race for Cotton who had bets on both first and second place horses. So... like I said last year, betting - it's a mug's game.

Movie Haiku - Shooter

Dir: Antoine Fuqua

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Danny Glover, Kate Mara

He's good with rifles
return to eighties action
new Steven Seagal

soulmining rating: ***

Friday, April 13, 2007

Midlake at the Concorde

Midlake - Brighton Concorde2

With some of our friends currently in Thailand celebrating the Songkran (water) festival, Andy and I have decided to have an alternative 'Song-cram' festival which involves us throwing beer down our throats and trying to blag into as many gigs as we can over the next few days. Our first event was Midlake at the Concorde on Thursday night, a welcome second sighting following on from their date at London's ULU last year. The venue was packed out and we ended up at the back near the merch desk; now I expect a certain amount of chatter back there, and normally it's not a big issue, but with Midlake's quieter songs (and indeed throughout Stephanie Dosen's support slot) I found it really distracting and annoying. For once I was actually yearning for a seated show... I rather missed the accompanying videos that we had in London, and any banter with the crowd was kept to a minimum, but that aside, the band sounded good. Young Bride and Head Home in particular stood out for me and they also debuted a rocking new track which bodes well for their next album.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Movie Haiku - Curse Of The Golden Flower

Dir: Zhang Yimou

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Liu Ye

They don't get along
murder plotting and incest
all in bright colours

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - Wild Hogs

Dir: Walt Becker

Cast: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy

Four men take road trip
fall foul of tough biker gang
look where you're going

soulmining rating: **

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Movie Haiku - Alpha Dog

Dir: Nick Cassavettes

Cast: Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin

Get stoned and get laid
being held hostage is fun
until they shoot you

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, April 09, 2007

Movie Haiku - My Best Friend

Dir: Patrice Leconte

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet, Julie Durand

He's Fran├žois-no-mates
taxi driver helps him out
will he phone a friend?

soulmining rating: **

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Movie Haiku - Blades Of Glory

Dir: Josh Gordon & Will Speck

Cast: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler

Two rival skaters
team against cheating siblings
don't slice off his head

soulmining rating: ***

Saturday, April 07, 2007

An Evening With Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith - Prince Charles Cinema

If I had to name the two filmmakers who've most influenced my addiction to modern cinema then I'd have to say Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, so it was a rare privilege to get to listen to the latter on Thursday evening. Kevin was in London with his family for a few days so had arranged a couple of his legendary Q&A sessions at the Prince Charles Cinema. I went along with Rich, Lauren, Rick and Rob and despite joining the mammoth queue late it played to our advantage and we ended up getting front row seats in the balcony. Kevin talked for nearly four hours and was joined by Jen and Harley at one point which was sweet. It's impossible to remember everything that was talked about, but here's some of what I remember:
  • He was annoyed that the PCC named the bar after Tarantino, so the PCC have now named one of the gents cubicles in his honour.
  • He's desperate to watch some British porn so that he can hear people having sex with an English accent. Someone shouted that he should just, "Phone the speaking clock and watch your ass in the mirror," which Kevin misheard as, "Take your cock and wipe my ass with it."
  • He didn't have anyone respond to the disabled jokes in Clerks 2 because it would have been a repeat of the scene where Wanda & Earthquake respond to the "porch-monkey" quote.
  • He had to have a growth surgically removed from the back of his neck after Ben Affleck kept resting his "dirty balls" on his neck when they were making Jersey Girl.
  • Apparently Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon split up because Ryan is a "sloppy party bottom."
  • He's never watched Buffy or Firefly. Or Heroes. But he loves the new Battlestar Galactica series.
  • He's got three dogs and described their sex life in minute detail.
  • His favourite dinosaur is a raptor because they can open closet doors.
  • His daughter Harley is best friends with Johnny Depp's kid. Johnny will entertain them by going into his Willy Wonka character. The best they can hope for with Kevin is Silent Bob.
  • He was never asked to make a fake trailer for Grindhouse but if asked he would have liked to have done a sexploitation film like H.O.T.S.
  • His next film will be a horror flick (Red State) which will be in the same vein as Ride With The Devil. It's all in his head at the moment and will be more suspenseful that it will be gory.
  • He still wants to make a Clerks animated movie, but the rights are tied up with Miramax at the moment.
  • He hated Superman Returns and said it could have been improved by having a giant spider in the third act. Also Superman was a rapist (cue long explanation as to why...)
  • Everyone (rightly) told him that he couldn't let Dante get shot at the end of Clerks, as he had in his original cut.
  • He'd sit through any film if Jen promises sex afterwards.
  • He was asked to write a Daredevil sequel but refused as he would have had to compromise his work to satisfy so many other people.
  • His favourite scene from his own films would be something with Jeff Anderson from Clerks 2, but prior to that it was Joey Lauren Adams' "You had cable" line from Mallrats.
  • Hayden Christensen was really pissed off at the online Clerks 2 trailer (which poked fun at his acting in the Star Wars films) and wanted to have it taken down.
One thing he wasn't asked about was the new Live Free Or Die Hard film which he has a small role in. You can see the brand new trailer here - and watch out for Kevin right at the end!

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Live

Whoops! A day later than normal because (ahem) I forgot... here's my little list of interesting things that are happening around Brighton in April. Plus a couple of things I'm going to in London aswell. March was a cracking month for live music, so here's hoping April follows the same pattern!

02/04 - So, erm, that'll be tonight then. Local band Silvermaker are going to be playing at the Pressure Point. I still haven't seen them play live yet, really must get to one of their forthcoming shows...

04/04 - I first heard Scott Matthews on the Shortbus film soundtrack. Very much in the same vein as Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith, he's busy touring his Passing Strangers album and will be playing at the Corn Exchange. I'm working on that one so will be looking forward to seeing what he's like live. Over at Brighton Centre it's more stand up from Ricky Gervais - who's just booked an extra show at Brighton Dome for 8th June. Tickets now on sale!

05/04 - I'm in London for an evening with Kevin Smith (the film director - the one who made Clerks). It's the second of two nights at the Prince Charles Cinema and he promises four hours of Q&A action, so should be a whole lot of fun. Meanwhile in Brighton you've got Oom having an album launch party at the Prince Albert and Chungking on the bill at the Komedia.

12/04 - My favourite album of last year was The Trials Of Van Occupanther by Midlake. I saw them live at the ULU a few months ago but now they're in Brighton to play at the Concorde so I shall certainly be seeing them again. Over at Brighton Centre there's the Sugababes with their greatest hits package - would probably be very entertaining if I wasn't already booked up elsewhere.

13/04 - Another potential film event up in London as I fancy going up to the NFT to see Alan Jones interview Alejandro Jodorowsky, the madman behind such films as El Topo (screening beforehand), The Holy Mountain and Sante Sangre. He's knocking on a bit now so this could well be our last chance to see the maverick director in person.

16/04 - It's a rare UK appearance from Feist at the Komedia. A member of the collective Broken Social Scene, I've got her first solo album Let It Die and her new album comes out later this month. Quite jazzy, but very cool.

17/04 - Another local band I've been meaning to check out for some time, so I'm hoping to get to the Sussex Arts Club to see The Mummers (formerly just Mummer) do their thing as I know I'm definitely not able to make their Fringe performance at the Joogleberry next month.

22/04 - And finally my good mate Dom returns to action. After the demise of his former band Good Morning Captain his new outfit Euchrid Eucrow have only played selected dates (not surprising as bandmates Abi and Ginger are busy with Bat For Lashes) but they're up for a slot at The Hope tonight, so I'll hopefully get along and lend my support.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Movie Haiku - The Lives Of Others

Dir: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Before wall came down
surveillance of the artists
hide the typewriter

soulmining rating: ****