Friday, August 26, 2005

Movie Review: The Cave

*beats his head against a wall* Hold on, I'll be with you in a minute... *beats his head a few more times, then smiles at you* Thats better.

I'd like to start off by saying something to Hollywood studios: Why? What could have possibly posessed you that this film was WORTHY of making, was WORTHY of a major studio release? They basically took The Relic, and mixed it with Pitch Black, and even threw in the supporting male star of the latter film. To make matters worse, the editing appears to have been done by an epileptic, and the special effects by someone who just read the "PhotoShop 7.0 Bible". Lastly, the dialogue could very well have been created by the MS Office Grammar Checker.

This movie has, really, no redeeming features. EVERY good scene was revealed by the commercials. Several parts of the movie are just patently retarded, contradicting the scenes around it. There's a glacier located directly adjacent to a PERMANENTLY BURNING LAKE OF METHANE, and strangely the air is perfectly breathable despite being COMPLETELY sealed off from the outside world. Several parts, such as how an armed troupe of medieval soldiers made it through 2.4 miles of underground river, are just never explained. It was just.... it was just scenes, strung together, sometimes with bits tacked on PURELY to explain in plain English what has only been inferred with all the subtlety of an atomic fucking bomb.

And the ending.... oh, my God, the ending... I almost demanded my money back just how hackneyed and retarded the ending was. The star dies, the token black guy is stuffed into a cab, and... and... I'd reveal it, but I'm not that cruel, even if you never see this movie.

0.5 out of 10.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Music Review: Clutch - Robot Hive / Exodus

For the first time ever, I am ambivalent towards an entire album of material, and even more shockingly, it's from my all-time favorite band ever, the power-quartet (sometimes quintet) of hard rock from Washington DC, Clutch. Neil himself proclaimed it to be "louder and wierder than our last album", and he is referring to Blast Tyrant there (scroll down to see my Blast Tyrant review). While it is most definitely wierder, only two and a half songs even come close to being louder than any of the fare on Blast Tyrant, and even Blast Tyrant wasnt half as loud as the previous record to that, the aptly named Pure Rock Fury.

Many of the songs on the new album feature what we've come to expect from Clutch, which is sharp drumming, peculiarly multi-layered guitar work, seemingly random key and timing changes, and Neil's impeccably-voiced bizarre lyrical ramblings. However, the middle half of the album can only be described as "mellow". For Christ's sake, my Dad likes a couple of the songs off this album. Thats just not right.

Even so, Clutch has continued to evolve, and I can never fault a band for that (except St Anger). Burning Beard is a monster of a song, and the video of Neil berating the masses (of robots) over a Church pulpit in a business suit gives it a whole new feel. The purposefully strangely titled middle track, "10001110101" makes very little sense, and if you're wondering, it's some order of ASCII for the question mark character. Mice and Gods rants about technology, and mankinds downfall, while "Gravel Road" is rock-country song about lost love. It hardly seems like the Clutch that came out with "Come On, Motherfucker" or "Pile Driver" or even "I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Boothe", but for your mellower, nostalgic forays into hard music, Clutch has the answer. It's Robot Hive.

8.2 out of 10.

Movie Review: Four Brothers

While watching this movie (and thoroughly enjoying myself) I was struck with three revelations. 1) Andre 3000 can act, 2) The soundtrack is a unique and refreshing breather from the technotronic rock-America fare of past movies, featuring Marvin Gaye, Jefferson Airplane, The Temptations, and The Four Tops, and 3) The director has clearly never heard the word 'pacing' in his life. John Singleton, Director, was the man who brought us "2 Fast 2 Furious", a movie which didn't need pacing, as it was just a testosterone-fueld automotive-wet-dream music video. Shaft didn't need pacing since it was upbeat, and you could lose yourself in the amusing moments. However, for a self-proclaimed 'serious' revenge flick, you can't just throwi everything together, scene by scene. A certain deft touch is required. For people who don't care enough about cinematography to notice this kind of thing, please ignore the previous few sentences and go enjoy this movie.

And let's not beat around the bush, it is enjoyable. Marky Mark is a much better actor than he has ever been credited for, and his chemistry with the other brothers in this movie seems genuine. The hockey games, the good-natured homoerotic jabs, then living room brawls all smack of people who love eachother (girls may not quite get that). The Thanksgiving dinner was poignant, the funeral reunion tensed over the feeling of loss, and most of all, the scenes of violence are done exceedingly well. A few too many bullets may have been expended during the final big shootout at the house of their late adoptive mother, but all that can be forgiven... except for the climax.

After the big final showdown fight scene, I was still left waiting for the climax of the movie. I was kind of shocked to learn a few minutes later that I had just witnessed the climax of the movie, and apparently I missed it. I know John Singleton was going for a sort of sombre, low-key taste of revenge, but it was so low-key it slipped under my chair and got stuck in the spilled Pepsi.

Apart from that one sizeable flub, this is a thoroughly enjoyable revenge flick, and should be seen by guys everywhere.

8.6 out of 10.