Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Movie Haiku - Captivity

Dir: Roland Joffe

Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies, Michael Harney, Laz Alonso

Jack's stupid daughter
captive for eighty minutes

audience is not

soulmining rating: **

(Inspired by David Hall's review at Eat My Brains)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

If we were all South Park characters...

Mr Phil




Fruity G

Khun Sean

You can create your very own South Park characters here!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brakes at the Concorde

Brakes - Brighton Concorde2

Another fun night out on Thursday, courtesy of Brighton's Brakes as they played a UNISON benefit show at the Concorde as a warm up for Glastonbury. Fresh from their recent North American tour the boys seemed happy to be back on home turf and we're relaxed and in good spirits. The resulting performance was a celebration, hugely enjoyable - laidback yet tight at the same time. All the old favourites got played including the still fantastic All Night Disco Party and once again they were joined by a couple of Pipettes for a cover of Sometimes Always. Dave loved it - filling in for Andy at the last minute - Bennett bought the latest album, and we also bumped into Bridie and Seb, so it was a great success!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Movie Haiku - Vacancy

Dir: Nimrod Antal

Cast: Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Motel hell for guests
snuff movies in the bedroom
who will star tonight?

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Dir: Tim Story

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis

Silver dude threatens
their wedding interrupted
fantastic bore too

soulmining rating: *

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Movie Haiku - Tell No One

Dir: Guillaume Canet

Cast: Francois Cluzet, Marie-Josee Croze, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Nathalie Baye

Email from dead wife
now the cops think he's guilty
tell everyone

soulmining rating: ****

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Evil (To Kako) DVD Review

Artwork for Yorgos Noussias's Evil (To Kako)

"Straight out of the Peter Jackson manual for low-budget filmmakers..."

"There are plenty of classic dismemberments to enjoy here including arm ripping, torso splitting, fists through the stomach and my own personal favourite, decapitation by punching..."

"Slapstick splatter at the expense of an engaging storyline..."

You can read my full review at Eat My Brains website here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Play It Cool in June

So what have I been listening to this month? To be honest, May was such a hectic month that I didn't get up to London once, so no raiding the bargain bins of Soho this time... Still, I did pick up a few new discs and these are the ones I've been playing the most:
  • LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (DFA)
  • New Young Pony Club - The Bomb (Modular) single
  • Aimee Mann - Lost In Space (SuperEgo)
  • Raissa - Believer (Polydor)
  • Hot Chip - The Warning (EMI)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Movie Haiku - Ocean's Thirteen

Dir: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia

Makes one of them ill
so they rig his casino
they're lucky thirteen

soulmining rating: ***

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hot Fuzztival

The Fuzz (l-r): Simon Pegg, Kevin Eldon, Nick Frost, Olivia Colman, Bill Bailey, Edgar Wright and Paddy Considine

Since I was in London on Saturday night for drinks it made sense to crash over at D's and try and get into the FREE Hot Fuzz event taking place at the Prince Charles Cinema on the Sunday. The only way to guarantee entry was to get there early, so we got to the sleepy queue for 7am... we soon built up camaraderie with the folks in front of us, including a couple of hardy souls who'd camped outside overnight, and made sure no-one pushed in - yes, I'm talking about you Mr Policeman with your Blue Peter kit bag and frying pan with paper eggs! (No, I don't know what that was all about either...)

We got front seats for the first film Hard-Boiled, introduced by Edgar Wright, and I'd forgotten just how mad it is - just non stop old-school HK shoot-outs and explosions! Edgar returned to introduce The Last Boy Scout, rightly praising Shane Black's sharp script, and it was a delight from start to finish. I'd always had it pegged as an overrated action flick but this screening made me totally re-evaluate my opinion, and I've since gone out and acquired it on DVD. The third and final retro screening was Point Break with Nick Frost joining Edgar to introduce this one. Referenced in Hot Fuzz itself, this is obviously a favourite of the boys and they delighted in the relationship between Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey, calling it one of the gayest movies ever made. It played really well to the audience, with lots of laughter and applause at the appropriate places.

Before the main event Edgar showed the trailer for Don't, his contribution to Grindhouse which brought the house down. Then it was time for Hot Fuzz with a live commentary, so out came Simon Pegg followed by Nick who tripped up the stairs and went sprawling across the stage provoking a mass pile-on! Once he'd regained his composure he introduced Kevin Eldon, then Bill Bailey, a heavily pregnant Olivia Colman, and finally the legendary Paddy Considine who totally stole the show! To recount the commentary is nigh on impossible, but suffice to say it was filthy and funny covering such topics as the rivalry between Simon and Martin Freeman, Paddy's Steve Coogan impression, smelly Jim Broadbent, fingering Peter Jackson, Hobbits, Sandford's mention in 28 Weeks Later, the real under-age drinkers, Timothy Dalton's moustache, Alice Lowe's legs, Ron Cook's false cock, Dave Bassett's mansion, Kevin's Spider-Man face paint, f*cking Ann Reid (Paddy), Olivia's fake tits, Paddy's De Niro, the television version, dogging, seagulls and watery French students' semen.

Hot Fuzz is now available to buy on DVD containing four alternative, slightly less vulgar commentaries.

Movie Haiku - Point Break

Dir: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty

Young dumb full of cum
he infiltrates surfer gang

gayest film ever

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - The Last Boy Scout

Dir: Tony Scott

Cast: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Halle Berry

Bomb at a ball game
listen to the glove puppet
foul-mouthed and funny

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - Hard-Boiled

Dir: John Woo

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung, Teresa Mo, Anthony Wong

Before Hollywood
mad shootout in hospital
baby wees on flames

soulmining rating: *****

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Young Pony Club at the Concorde

New Young Pony Club - Brighton Concorde2

Now this is more like it! For whatever reason it's electro-pop that is grabbing my attention at the moment (see also CSS, The Sounds, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip) and New Young Pony Club are its latest charges arriving on the back of recent single The Bomb and the Intel ad jingle and soon-to-be-re-released single Ice Cream. Andy, Thurein and I agreed that down the front was the place to be to watch them at the Concorde, and so it proved to be. Within minutes they had the crowd dancing, vocalist Tahita always out front engaging the fans. What NYPC lacked in tunes they made up for in confidence and energy and by the end of their set we'd jumped around and sweat buckets like never before - well, not for a long time anyway! The two singles were obvious favourites but a couple of other songs also stood out giving hope that the forthcoming Fantastic Playroom album could be the soundtrack to my Summer. The venue stayed open late for an aftershow party with Steve Chaos on the decks, so more drinking and dancing was in order until the wee hours... a top night out!

Manic Street Preachers at the Dome

The Manics - Brighton Dome

What to write about Manic Street Preachers as this was nearly a week ago and I've had a fair few drinks since then? I was looking after the guest list so missed the first part of their show, sadly only able to hear snatches of You Love Us and Motorcycle Emptiness drift out of the concert hall and across the bar. By the time I'd got changed and grabbed myself a drink it was probably midway through their set and they were ready to tackle Your Love Is Not Enough, one of their strongest songs to date - although without Nina Persson, much to my disappointment! The remainder of their songs spanned The Manics back catalogue, taking in such gems as Stay Beautiful, Kevin Carter, You Stole The Sun From My Heart and (inevitably) finishing off with A Design For Life. All well and good, but never quite felt a celebration like it did when they played the Brighton Centre a few years back... although matters weren't helped by a distinctly muddy sound throughout. Good to see them playing smaller venues, but sadly not their best ever gig. Or mine.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Movie Haiku - The Hitcher

Dir: Dave Meyers

Cast: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough

Don't stop for stranger
he's a sick f*ck lunatic
has a massive tug

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vote for Miss Lincolnshire!

Photo © Kimberley Howson

My pal - and fellow FrightFester - Kimberley has just been crowned Miss Lincolnshire and is now competing to be in the finals of Miss England, so she needs YOUR votes please!

To vote for Kimberley you can either text Miss Lincolnshire to 84205, or call 0901 656 1500 and key in 42 when prompted.

Here's a message from the lady herself:

Hi people, I need all your help in order to become Miss England! Please vote by texting Miss Lincolnshire to 84205. Please vote as many times as you can! If I win the text votes I will automatically gain entry to the final 20 on the last night of the competition (no mean feat considering over 90 girls will be competing for the title)! The Miss England competition is for 3 days in Leicester (from 28th-30th June), so not long to go - and voting lines close on the 30th at 8pm.

I appreciate all your help - thanks guys!

Kimberley xx

You can read more about Kimberley and check out all the other Miss England contestants here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rest Stop - DVD Review

Jaimie Alexander in Rest Stop

The first film from Warners made-for-DVD production arm Raw Feed, Rest Stop promises to offer the viewer a movie experience, "too shocking for theatres!" Tapping in to the current travellers-in-peril genre (see also Gone, Paradise Lost, and of course Wolf Creek, which the DVD cover art most closely resembles) the film follows lovers Nicole (Jaimie Alexander) and Jess (Joey Mendicino) who are running away to begin a new life in Hollywood together.

Quickly conforming to genre cliche the couple take an unmarked route not on their map, "cos it'll be quicker," almost get run off the road by a mysterious truck, and then pull in at a deserted rest stop for a break. The location will be familiar to anyone who's ever watched a horror film; it's a place where you can't get a signal on your mobile, the pay phone is broken, the radio transmitter doesn't work and your car suddenly won't start. What this film would do for an original idea...

So Jess vanishes while Nicole is having a pee and she soon finds herself doing battle with a deranged trucker who has been abducting travellers for over 30 years. Throw in a previous victim (still locked up in the bathroom) an ineffective local cop and an underused goofball family of religious nutters in a camper van - all of whom may or may not be ghosts - and you have yourselves... well, a bit of a mess really. And that's the biggest problem with Rest Stop, the few good ideas it has are undeveloped and never clearly explained - consigning the creepy family's sub plot to a DVD extra rather than bolstering the scant 85 minute running time in an attempt to offer some kind of context is just plain baffling.

Director John Shiban (an X-Files veteran) does his best with the limited material, offering a modicum of suspense as Nicole attempts to escape from the rest room before it alights, plus the occasional bit of gore, but it's hard to care when the characters are so unengaging - the two leads being introduced as a bickering, foul-mouthed pair. The result in an unsatisfying film full of implied motivations and lazy plotting; the demon trucker driving to and fro all night rather than killing Nicole after their first encounter seems to happen solely to ensure that she has stripped down to her bra by the time of their final confrontation. Too shocking for theatres? Too average and badly constructed more like!

Rest Stop
will be available to buy on R2 DVD in the UK from Warners on 11th June.

The DVD contains the following extra features:
  • 3 Alternate Endings
  • On The Bus - Shocking Crime Scene Photos
  • Scotty's Home Movie - a unique family album from one of the oddest characters in Rest Stop
  • Trailer

soulmining rating: **

Movie Haiku - Shutter

Dir: Wongpoom & Pisanthanakun

Cast: Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana, Unnop Chanpaibool

Couple hit and run
ghostly girl in photograph
now his neck is sore

soulmining rating: ****

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Movie Haiku - Paprika

Dir: Satoshi Kon

Voices: Megumi Hayashibara, Toru Furuya, Koichi Yamadera, Katsunosuke Hori

She can enter dreams
fridges dance to frogs' music
stop worlds colliding

soulmining rating: ****

Friday, June 01, 2007

June Live

Back to normal this month after the madness of May and the Brighton Festival. So let's take a look at what live delights we can expect in the city in June...

01/06 - The first ever Tiger Festival begins tonight at the Duke Of York's cinema with a late night screening of Paprika. Other films showing this weekend in a celebration of the finest Asian cinema include Thai horror Shutter, HK police drama PTU, lavish drama The Banquet and action-adventure in the shape of Dragon Tiger Gate.

05/06 - Shoreham-by-Sea gets its own festival this month with the annual Adur Festival bigger and better than ever; highlights include comedian Richard Herring who will be performing his Menage A Un show at the new Ropetackle Centre.

06/06 - Celebrating the critical and commercial success of their latest album Send Away The Tigers - a real return to form by all accounts - Brighton welcomes back the Manic Street Preachers for a date at the Dome. No word as to whether Nina Persson will appear to duet on Your Love Is Not Enough, but I can always hope...

08/06 - I was originally planning to see Ricky Gervais at the Dome with his current one-man show Fame, but I've now opted to see New Young Pony Club at the Concorde instead. Their last single The Bomb is currently a firm favourite of mine and their forthcoming disco-punk album Fantastic Playroom is supposed to be equally loveable.

15/06 - Fresh from their performances soundtracking Run Lola Run during Brighton Festival last month, The Bays will be at Audio for another of their unique improvised live shows.

20/06 - A bit of an unknown this one, but I like what I've seen on their MySpace page, so I reckon I'm going to give Slow Club a look at the Komedia Studio Bar.

21/06 - Squeezed in between an American tour and their Glastonbury appearance, Brighton favourites Brakes play a UNISON benefit gig at the Concorde. Meanwhile over at the Komedia there's the chance to check out indie up-and-comers Air Traffic.

22/06 - Hot on the heels of Devo, there's another 80s band on the comeback trail this month as the Dome welcomes Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark for a greatest hits package.

24/06 - Dome regular Rufus Wainwright is back for another show - this must be his fourth appearance at the venue in as many years!

28/06 - One band I used to love back in the nineties was Transglobal Underground. Playing live at the Komedia in support of a new album Moonshout I reckon the time might be right to give them another look and see what they're up to in 2007.