Man where does the time go? So I’ve finally squirreled away a couple of minutes to write a new blog about some stuff that’s been floating around in my head for the last couple of weeks. I got a couple of DVDs I wanted to talk about and a couple of new albums I wanted to run past ya’ll as well. So with out further ado, here we go, keep in mind they are going to be short sweet and to the point!
So I caught this last weekend and wanted to write up a bit about it right quick. I got a kick out of it and laughed out loud several times, but this is squarely in the new realm of R rated comedy and isn’t for every one. Role Models stars Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott as our two protagonist as well as Elizabeth Banks and Christopher Mintz-Plasse who we all know and love as McLovin’ from Super Bad. If you’ve seen any of the new wave of R comedy coming out these days from the Judd Apatow camp then you pretty much know what your in for on this movie as well. Lots of swearing, some nudity and a little left of center comedy. This stuff works for me and I got quite a kick out of it. The best stuff is the stuff with the kids and the best of that is the stuff with Sean William Scott and his “little” Bobb’e J Thompson. My jaw hit the floor a couple of times with their bantor. Unfortunately, also like most of these new comedies, it’s about a half hour to 45 mintues too long. If they cut some of the extra goo and tightened up the story this stuff would be totally killer and a laugh riot from beginning to end, but instead I think they tend to overindulge their egos a bit and let the actors (who are often the writers which is the case on this with Paul Rudd) ad lib and are too afraid to cut anything they thought was funny while shooting. Despite that flaw the film was a lot of fun and I had a great time watching it. Just keep in mind folks that this is an R rated movie as you pop it into your DVD player.
3 1/2 Stars out of 5
Let the Right One In. I caught this one last weekend too and was blown away by this forigen film. Again, it’s probably not for everyone, it’s a vampire story, but more at it’s heart it’s a coming of age story of a young boy who is harrassed and picked on by some bullies in his school with the vampire stuff being a device for moving the story along. Sparse, extremely slow pacing, and absolutely wonderful cinematography as well as some of the best performances by child actors I’ve seen in some time. This film is beautiful and haunting at the same time. Again I feel I must warn you though, this film is not in English so subtitles are a must if that bothers you you may want to skip this one, second, it is extremely graphic with the gore. Not ridiculous in a cheesy way, but it’s affecting. The blood flows and it flows freely so if you have a weak stomach you may want to wait for the American remake that is in the works. But if you want to challenge your movie tastes then rent this one and get ready to get spell bound.
4 1/2 out of 5 Stars
Punisher: War Zone. Alright folks, I think you and I have both forgotten the Dolph Lundgren abomination that happened in the late 80′s or early 90′s. And you may have seen the Thomas Jane and John Travolta version of this one (which I can honestly say that I liked) but this one folks, wow, just wow. Easily one of the most gory and violent movies I’ve seen in a long time and definitely the goriest and most violent comic book movie that Marvel has produced. For those of you that know me, I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan, and The Punisher has always been a book that I enjoyed, but just never followed all that much. If you saw the first Punisher movie you know the story and this movie basically assumes that you know his origin story. Lets see, what did they get right this time. First they got the setting right. Put Frank Castle back in New York where he belongs. Second they got Frank Castle right. He is a psychopath vigilante. In the recent Marvel Civil War even Captain America wanted Frank Castle off of his team, and that’s saying something (I just totally geeked myself out there didn’t I?). Any way, this was one heck of a movie. Did I like it? That’s a tough call. I just wish they could nail this one right. Just like the Hulk movies, they seem to keep missing the heart of the story or what makes these characters so endearing to the readers. I liked it I guess, but I don’t think I could recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like violent horror movies.
3 out of 5 Stars
Mastodon – Crack the Skye. I just discovered these guys over the last year or so and got most of their back catalog. I enjoy it but something never clicked with me. It was the vocals. The music is very good, very musical and very dense. All the stuff I like, but it was the vocals holding these guys back for me. Then I get Crack the Skye and OH MY GOSH! I don’t know if it was working with Brendan O’Brien or what but this band has grown leaps and bounds since their last record. I’m telling you this is the best Pink Floyd record since Dark Side of the Moon. You may be asking yourself at this very moment “Pink Floyd? I thought Mastodon was a metal band?” And well you’d be right on both counts, but you see this album takes everything that has been so amazing about Mastodon and then brings in clean melodic vocals and a very very keen sense of prog rock. I’m not kidding you, prog (progressive rock as the term was coined many moons ago for such bands as Pink Floyd and King Crimson among others). This album is a band at it’s pinnacle. Both staying true to their roots, some of the heaviest riffs I’ve ever heard in my life and still some growled vocals, but also moving forward to expand their influences and audience. If these guys keep moving at the speed they are moving at now Brent Hinds will be a household name in five years. A wonderful wonderful record that I can’t get enough of lately but I’m holding off on it a bit. I don’t want to burn out on it all at once. I highly recommend this to fans of Pink Floyd, Tool and Good Music.
5 out of 5
Prince – LotusFlow3r & MlpSound. On Sunday my son and I ran out to Target to pick up the new Prince record being distributed exclusively through Target. I’ve only had a chance to get through both discs once, but upon first listen I’m OK with LotusFlow3r and I’m really digging MlpSound. LotusFlow3r is more in tone to his recent output, which despite the critics cries that his new stuff echos his classic albums, is more rock oriented and a step away from the 80′s vibe of Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, 1999 and others. The last few albums have had some great tracks, but a little bit of filler as well and LotusFlow3r in my opinion falls victim to this again too. I need to give it a few more spins before I lay the final hammer of judgement down on this one, but I do dig it, just not as much as I’m digging on MlpSound. I don’t know if it’s a connection to my beloved Minneapolis ( I tend to be drawn to any song that Prince sings about my favorite city in our great union) but this record definitely feels like Prince trying to capture the magic of Purple Rain era Prince. Programmed drums, even some of the exact same samples used in those classic records. More reliance on the posturing that made the Purple One so endearing to begin with. I’m thinking that a few more listens and this could be at the top of my favorite Prince records list which also includes the mammoth three disc set Emancipation, The Gold Experience and Under the Cherry Moon (which could be easily my most favorite Prince record ever). The third disc in this set is the debut of Prince’s new protege Bria Valente which right now, I’m just not feeling it. I told a friend the other day that I feel like I have to be 16 to get the lyrics and 29 to get the music. If you like CrazySexyCool era TLC then this album by Bria is probably right up your alley. Me on the other hand, meh not my cup of tea.
Bria Valente – Elixer - 2 out of 5 Stars
Prince – LotusFlow3r – 3 out of 5 Stars
Prince – MlpSound – 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars
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