Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Argento and Miike films added to TIFF

Asia Argento stars in Mother Of Tears

Two big name directors complete the Midnight Madness line-up at TIFF this year; Dario Argento's Mother Of Tears, the third part of his 'Three Mothers' trilogy (following Suspiria and Inferno) and Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django, his first English language film featuring a certain Quentin Tarantino, have now been confirmed for the festival. Dates are yet to be confirmed but it looks as if Argento's film will open the strand on Thursday 6th September, whilst Miike's film will screen the following Thursday night.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Movie Haiku - The Walker


Dir: Paul Schrader

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty

Hangs out with ladies
investigates a murder
it's a mystery

soulmining rating: **

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Aimee Mann at The IndigO2

Aimee Mann - The IndigO2, London

It was Steve's birthday last week so I thought I'd surprise him with a ticket to see Aimee Mann at The IndigO2 in London - cue much amusement as Chrissy and I tried to convince him that we were really going to see Scissor Sisters who were playing at The O2 next door! Once we'd managed to get to the venue in one piece (Steve avoiding the floods in Oxford, us being sardines in the tube and surviving a fellow passenger's panic attack when we stopped between stations...) we were able to relax, grab a drink from the bar and take in the newest live music venue in the city - and it's pretty impressive; about the size of Brighton Dome, modern, and with a crystal clear sound-system. Jenny Owen Youngs supported and was pretty and kooky, lots of amusing banter and a bizarre cover of Hot In Here to finish - definitely worth seeing when she plays at The Barfly in October. As for Aimee and her band, well, they were fantastic! The set spanned a variety of albums including most of the tracks from her best known work, the Magnolia soundtrack - although she totally fluffed Momentum. There were also choice cuts from The Forgotten Arm and Lost In Space, the best of which was Today's The Day which sent a shiver down my spine. Another great track was the uptempo Freeway, one of two new songs she premiered that night. For the encore she just about managed to get through Telescope after a bit of help from the audience, and then ended the show with Wise Up. One of the best gigs of the year so far!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Boys and the 'Babes

Cotton, Bennett & myself with the Sugababes

Look who we bumped into at the launch of Brighton Centre's 30th Anniversary exhibition on Thursday evening...

(Yes, we had drunk quite a few glasses of wine by this time!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Bravery at the Concorde

The Bravery - Brighton Concorde2

I was out with Andy last night to catch up over a couple of pints and check out The Bravery. We were quite surprised to find the Concorde was sold out as the band had pretty much vanished from view since their debut album, and appeared to be in crisis with release of their new album The Sun And The Moon getting put back in the UK. Support came from The Cinematics who were quite good in an Editors kind of way. The Bravery opened with Fearless (their best song on the night) and started well - Believe and This Is Not The End from the new album making an immediate impression. Other songs were less good, all a bit plodding to be honest with Sam Endicott's vocals coming across a little strained. Still, he makes for a good front man and some of the older tunes (including An Honest Mistake) certainly got the crowd going. A partial success then.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Night Junkies DVD Review

Giles Alderson and Katia Winter in Night Junkies

"A nocturnal vision filled with hookers, hoodlums and the disaffected..."

"Puts the well-worn vampire character into a thoroughly modern context..."

"The cinematography, production design and moody lighting combine to make Night Junkies an extremely stylish picture..."

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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Midnight Madness at TIFF

Béatrice Dalle stars in Inside

I'm headed for Canada in September to cover this year's Toronto International Film Festival for Eat My Brains which is going to be an exciting challenge for me. Today eight of the ten films making up the Midnight Madness strand were announced, and I'm delighted to see that both Inside (À l'intérieur) and George A. Romero's Diary Of The Dead are amongst the films being shown. The eight films confirmed so far are as follows, with the final two due to be announced on 31st July:
  • Friday 7th - Frontières (Dir: Xavier Gens)
  • Saturday 8th - Diary Of The Dead (Dir: George A. Romero)
  • Sunday 9th - Vexille (Dir: Fumihiko Sori)
  • Monday 10th - Stuck (Dir: Stuart Gordon)
  • Tuesday 11th - The Devil's Chair (Dir: Adam Mason)
  • Wednesday 12th - Flash Point (Dir: Wilson Yip)
  • Friday 14th - Dainipponjin (Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto)
  • Saturday 15th - Inside (Dir: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Movie Haiku - Evan Almighty


Dir: Tom Shadyac

Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman

The floods are coming
God tells him to build an ark
everybody dance

soulmining rating: **

Movie Haiku - Transformers


Dir: Michael Bay

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight

Robots in disguise
things turn into other things
fight over a cube

soulmining rating: ***

We Love Space!

Gia models the Icarus II jacket worn by Corazon (Michelle Yeoh)

Further to my purchase of a costume used in Danny Boyle's Sunshine - which still causes much amusement in our office - The Prop Store are now auctioning off another batch of items to tie in with the movie's release in the USA and Canada this week. You can check out the latest items here - happy bidding!

To highlight this event the lovely Gia has posted photos of the two of us, wearing our Icarus II gear, over on the official Sunshine website. Cool!

Jay & Jimbo's Excellent Adventure

John Cusack stars in 1408

First up, an addition to the already packed FrightFest line up, with 1408 (Dir: Mikael Håfström) now confirmed for August's event. The film will screen on the Friday afternoon followed by a Q&A with the director, with Adam Mason's The Devil's Chair now switching to a late Thursday night slot. If you pick up the current issue of The Dark Side magazine then you can read an article by Alan Jones looking back over the last eight years of the UK's premier horror festival.

By chance, in the same issue you will also see a feature by the esteemed Jay Slater chronicling his exploits with James over at the Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas last Autumn. So go and buy a copy - it's issue 128, the one with Bruce Campbell on the cover.

The meat sweats start here...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back In Action!

With my parents on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, largely due to the fact that I have been up in Northumberland visiting my family. And they are still without broadband at home which makes using the internet a real pain in the ass. Mind you, my parents don't own a DVD player either...

It's good to be back! More updates soon...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Play It Cool in July

I'm up in Northumberland this week so am offline most of the time, hence the delay in posting my monthly list of top tunes. Without further ado then, here's what I've been listening to:
  • Kate Nash - Foundations (Fiction)
  • New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom (Modular)
  • Chungking - Stay Up Forever (Institute)
  • Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope (WEA)
  • Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm (SuperEgo)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Movie Haiku - Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix


Dir: David Yates

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes

They deny dark lord
he must train friends for combat
Hogwarts to hogwash

soulmining rating: **

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Zombie Walk - World Record Attempt

To celebrate the forthcoming release of The Zombie Diaries in the UK we're going for the World Record for the biggest ever gathering of zombies (currently standing at 894, for a gathering at the Monroeville Mall in the USA).

The event will take place on the morning of Monday 27th August (Bank Holiday - don't worry, you won't be at work!) in central London. The Zombie Walk will start at Waterloo Bridge at 9:30am (tbc) and will culminate in a huge zombie gathering in Leicester Square prior to a screening of The Zombie Diaries at the Odeon West End as part of this year's FrightFest event.

We all love zombies so lets make London the zombie capital of the world! Join the facebook group and spread the word...


Friday, July 06, 2007

Fantasy Football Cup Winner 2007

Cup winner Steve Piper receives his trophy from Darren Marks

Congratulations to Steve Piper who was officially crowned our Fantasy Football Cup Winner 2007 yesterday afternoon. Cup organiser Darren Marks conducted the trophy presentation ceremony at Fantasy Footy HQ which was followed by celebratory drinks at the Waggon immediately afterwards.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Movie Haiku - Die Hard 4.0


Dir: Len Wiseman

Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q

Protect the hacker
kill helicopter with car
yippee kay yay mo-

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - Hostel Part II


Dir: Eli Roth

Cast: Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips

This time it's three girls
bathe in blood or saw to face
it's kill or be killed

soulmining rating: ***

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Suzanne Vega at the Dome

Suzanne Vega - Brighton Dome

Monday night I ended up going to see Suzanne Vega at the Dome with Kelly. I have to say, I really enjoyed the show - I went in with no expectations (not really knowing a lot of her material) and as it was a fully seated show it meant I could really focus on her performance without any other distractions. Opening and closing her set with Tom's Diner she played a varied selection of songs from her back catalogue plus new material from her current Beauty & Crime album. Highlights for me were Luka and Blood Makes Noise which were played with solo accompaniement from her bass player. After the rather disappointing Manics gig the other week it was a relief to discover the acoustics were excellent this time, with a crisp sound and clear vocals throughout. A pleasant surprise!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

FrightFest 2007 line up announced!

The really sleepy queue outside the Odeon West End

Tickets for this year's FrightFest event (August 23rd - 27th at London's Odeon West End) went on sale this weekend with passes costing £140 for the five day festival. The full programme has been announced with a total of 26 films confirmed at present, and of course there will be the usual mix of special guests, short films and surprises. Here's the provisional timetable:

Thursday 23rd August:
19:00 - Black Sheep (Dir: Jonathan King, NZ)
21:15 - Black Water (Dir: Andrew Traucki & David Nerlich, AUS)

Friday 24th August:
10:30 - Hatchet - live commentary (Dir: Adam Green, USA)
12:30 - The Devil's Chair (Dir: Adam Mason, UK)
14:45 - The Sword Bearer (Dir: Filipp Yankovsky, RUS)
17:15 - The Signal (Dir: David Bruckner, Dan Bush & Jacob Gentry, USA)
19:45 - P2 (Dir: Franck Khalfoun, USA)
22:00 - All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (Dir: Jonathan Levine, USA)
00:15 - Shrooms (Dir: Paddy Breathnach, UK)

Saturday 25th August:
11:00 - Cold Prey (Dir: Roar Uthaug, NOR)
13:00 - Joshua (Dir: George Ratliff, USA)
15:00 - 28 Weeks Later - special event (Dir: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, UK/USA)
16:00 - Storm Warning (Dir: Jamie Blanks, AUS)
18:30 - Wrong Turn 2 (Dir: Joe Lynch, USA)
21:15 - Disturbia (Dir: D.J. Caruso, USA)
23:45 - The Devil Dared Me To (Dir: Chris Stapp, NZ)

Sunday 26th August:
11:00 - The Girl Next Door (Dir: Gregory Wilson, USA)
13:15 - Botched (Dir: Kit Ryan, USA)
15:45 - Postal (Dir: Uwe Boll, CAN/GER)
18:30 - Seed (Dir: Uwe Boll, CAN/GER)
21:00 - Waz (Dir: Tom Shankland, UK)
23:30 - Skin Walkers (Dir: James Isaac, USA)

Monday 27th August:
11:00 - The Zombie Diaries (Dir: Kevin Gates & Michael Bartlett, UK)
13:15 - KM 31 (Dir: Rigoberto Casteneda, MEX)
15:45 - Spiral (Dir: Adam Green & Joel Moore, USA)
18:30 - Day Watch (Dir: Timur Bekmambetov, RUS)
21:15 - The Orphanage (Dir: Juan Antonio Bayona, MEX/SP)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Kate Nash at Pure Groove

Kate Nash - outside Pure Groove, London

So, originally Kate Nash was going to be doing an instore at Resident here in Brighton on Tuesday but that got pulled due to recording commitments. Then, as luck would have it, I discovered that she was doing an instore at Pure Groove in London on Friday - when coincidentally (yes Darren, it was pure coincidence...) I was going to be in town meeting up with folk for the FrightFest launch. So off I went... Pure Groove is a tiny little record shop in North London and with Foundations about to hit the charts at No.2 it was absolutely rammed. So full in fact that Kate decided to break her performance midway to go and play a few songs outside for those who couldn't get in. After a thirty minute set that included Merry Happy and Foundations (inside) and Birds and Caroline's A Victim (outside) she then hung around to meet her fans and sign copies of her single. Lovely stuff.

Me 'n' Kate at Pure Groove

Transglobal Underground at the Komedia

Transglobal Underground - Brighton Komedia

I ended up at the Komedia on Thursday night with Steve to see what Transglobal Underground are up to these days. Back in the mid-nineties we were both big fans of their Dream Of 1000 Nations and International Times albums, but haven't really dabbled with their music since sometime-vocalist Natacha Atlas departed to persue a solo career. The band have always had a revolving door policy towards their line-up and in 2007 this centres around the core members of Alex Kasiak, Hamid Mantu and vocalist Tuup. From opener The Drums Of Navarone it was obvious they have lost none of their appeal, and the audience were dancing like crazy from the off. I must confess I didn't recognise any songs from their early days, but the new stuff - from new album Moonshout - was good enough for Steve to buy the CD directly afterwards. Totally different from my usual indie-guitar bands, but a welcome change!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Hamiltons DVD Review

Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Mackenzie Firgens and Joseph McKelheer in The Hamiltons

"The intriguingly monikered writing / directing duo of Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores are in fact neither brothers, nor indeed butchers..."

"The Hamiltons are the epitome of a dysfunctional family..."

"Whilst the cover art suggests this is just another bandwagon-jumping slice of ‘torture-porn’, the reality is actually somewhat different..."

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

July Live

Hello July! A quiet month ahead I'm thinking, with the traditional festival season dominating the live scene for the Summer. Maybe it's time I did another music festival, it's been 11 years since Phoenix, so I reckon I might go for Latitude next year. Anyways, here's a few bits 'n' bobs coming up this month in and around the city:

01/07 - Guitar Wolf, stars of the cult Asian movie Wild Zero take to the stage at the Engine Rooms. I'm not sure quite what to make of this Japanese metal/punk band but my mate Alex loves them!

02/07 - I was toying with the idea of another trip up to London to see The Hold Steady play at Shepherds Bush Empire, but instead I'm going to remain within the familiar confines of the Dome where I should be seeing Suzanne Vega instead.

03/07 - A tiny warm-up show for Athlete over at the Komedia - last time they were in Brighton they played at Brighton Centre, so this will be a very intimate setting to hear some new material ahead of a full tour in the Autumn.

17/07 - I'm away in Newcastle at this time which is a shame as I'd like to check out Reverend & The Makers who are performing at the Concorde - current single Heavyweight Champion Of The World seems a cut above the usual yob-rock doing the rounds at the moment.

22/07 - Looking for a bit of comedy this weekend perhaps, so the Krater Comedy night at the Komedia seems ideal with a line up including both Will Smith and Mark Watson.

25/07 - It seems a long time ago that An Honest Mistake was hogging the airwaves... since then The Bravery have rather dropped off the radar, but now they're back with a new album and a reportedly new sound. Hmmmm... whatever, I'll go and have a peek when they play at the Concorde.

27/07 - Steve, if you're reading this you're going to spoil your birthday surprise! I'm going to be in London to see Aimee Mann which will also give me the opportunity to check out a new venue, the Indigo2 which is part of the huge 02 arena in Docklands.

28/07 - Another newcomer to the singer/songwriter bandwagon, Scottish youngster Amy MacDonald will be playing at The Hope promoting her new album This Is The Life which gets released this month.