Saturday, June 23, 2018

Film #68: Jurassic World

I didn't see the last Jurassic World film but I did play the Lego game of it, so I was familiar with the backstory to this one. In this one those that survived the theme park accident of the other film are encouraged to go back to help get some dinos off the island before a volcano kills them all.

It's alright. It's one of those films where you have to disbelieve a little bit, not just because it's about dinosaurs but because some of the story is really dumb. It is a good romp!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Film #67: Mary and the Witch's Flower

A bunch of people left Studio Ghibli and set up their own studio, and this is their first film.
It's really good and tells the story of a clumsy friendless ginger kid who finds a magic broom and is taken to a mysterious world where an evil doctor is capturing animals and experimenting on them.

The animation is great and the story is solid. A great film for all the family!

Film #66: Ocean's 8

Ocean's 11 was very good, 12 and 13 not so much. Now the franchise gets the Ghostbusters treatment and is remade with women. In this one her from Speed, Sandra Bullock plays Clooney's younger sister who wants to steal a diamond necklace from the neck of catwoman Anne Hathaway with a crew consisting of Rhianna playing a hacker and a bunch of other women I didn't really recognise but apparently they're famous. I did recognise Cate Blanchett who has the Brad Pitt role and she does great even taking the title of best jacket in a film from Ryan Babygoose in Drive.

I enjoyed despite it starring that talent parasite James Corden. Why do people think he's entertaining?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Film #65: The 100 Faces of Dunjia

A rather strange film I found on Netflix that features an opening sequence where a man fights a fish.
It peaks early.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Event: Phobiarama

Phobiarama - Dries Verhoeven (UK trailer 2018) from Dries Verhoeven on Vimeo.

A 30-minute ghost train ride, what's not to like? This isn't your usual dark ride though. It's aim to make you uncomfortable definitely happened in my case, and whilst I didn't succumb to jump scares, some other riders definitely felt the need to do so. It's definitely art but art that makes you think about preconceptions that you may have. There is an option to meet the cast after the show, which you should consider doing too.

This is as spoiler free as I think I can get. 

The show is next in Milton Keynes in July. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Event: Space Shambles @ Royal Albert Hall

An evening of science at the Albert Hall organised by Robin Ince, one of the guys behind The Infinity Monkey Cage. 

I didn't take any photos but some good official ones can be seen here.
The highlights for me were the Festival of the Spoken Nerd who did some pi themed maths using pies, Stewart Lee who brought the astronauts down to earth with a bump and a guy who had built lunar lander with a large laser, but the whole evening was good and with Public Service Broadcasting playing a few songs as a headliner act we finished on a high.



Film #64: Hereditary

Always be wary of marketing that proclaims a horror movie is the scariest yet, or compares it to a classic; both signs that that won't be the case and the film company is trying to maximise their profits through false advertising.

Well Hereditary is this generation's The Exorcist and it's not very good. There's a lot of tension through the film with a bizarre pay off that has divided a lot of people. I got it but didn't like it.

Anyway a demon that is already using a young girl as a host decides she's not suitable and plans to move to her brother but can only do so when he's at his weakest; so the film is just him being worn down until that can happen. The only thing wrong with the girl is that she has a peanut allergy, so this is a film about a demon that can't handle peanuts. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Film #63: Piranha

You know you're getting old when films celebrate their 40th anniversary.
This 70s horror flick comes on the back of the success of Jaws and features military experimented piranha being inadvertently released into a river and killing people along the way.

Terrible effects, mostly just kids screaming and splashing, but a joy to watch, especially on the big screen. Here's hoping the sequel Flying Killers also gets a showing. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Film #62: Jailbreak

Another Raid-a-like, this time coming from Cambodia. This one features a squad of cops trapped in a rioting prison. More solid fight sequences but with a little nod of humour and again, like the Villainess, the cameraman is right in the middle of the action.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Film #61: The Villainess

This is a film tha I missed last year, I'm not sure if it actually got a cinema release or not. But finding it on Netflix was a nice surprise. If you like The Raid or its sequel then you might like this one. The action is crazy with the camera man at times seeming to be part of the action. The opening is a first-person fight fest and the finale on a bus is just incredible. The pace does lag as the film tries to do a lot in it's 2 hours, but the fighting does make up for it.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Film #60: So I Married an Axe Murderer

A 25th birthday celebration of my favourite Mike Myers film (although Waynes World is good too). I don't know what happened to the woman in this though. The best character is the dad by far. 

Film #59: Stand by Me

A bit of a classic but not a film I'd seen at the cinema as far as I could recall. Arguably the best Stephen King adaptation which tells the story of 4 boys on a quest to find a dead body, who grow up along the way.

Excellent performances from a great child cast, and a film that still holds up today.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Film #58: Mechanic: Resurrection

The second Mechanic film is just like every other Jason Statham film. Fights, stunts and him taking his top off. In this one he has to do 3 hits on bad guys or else his recently discovered girlfriend will be killed. It's a bit like Hitman, in fact the second hit looks to have been taken straight from one of the games. Jessica Alba who plays the love interest hasn't aged one bit. 

I enjoyed it but I suspected I knew what I was letting myself in for and wasn't disappointed.

Film #57: Society

A film from 1989, being shown on the big screen and a film that definitely leaves a scar to those who have seen it. It was fun seeing it tonight as you could tell who was seeing it for the first time.

Billy Warlock (great name) plays the son in the family that doesn't fit in with his parents or sister. He prefers to play ball, whilst they go off to lavish parties. The film builds to a great climax and a shunting scene that cannot be forgotten. Dark and twisted but entertaining.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Film #56: Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson's latest film is a stop-motion animation about dogs and has a Japanese vibe to it despite it being filmed not too far from the real Isle of Dogs. The rulers of a Japanese city have a dislike of dogs and come up with a plan to have them removed to an island off the coast. When one of the leaders kids decides to head over to the island to find his dog, a group of them decide to escape the island and return to the mainland.

I enjoyed this. Wes has a knack for making good films that don't do anything remarkable and this is another of those, not bad, but not great. I think there's a pun in the title too. "Isle of Dogs" or "I love dogs"? 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gigs #24-33 : All Points East (Sunday)

Day 3 of the Festival and it was much of the same, another early start and chance to grab some lunch before the day started.

This was the X-Stage which allowed various DJs to play in the round. I didn't go to this stage once, clearly a sign that my music priorities have changed.

First up in the West Stage was Bones Garage. They were alright.

Again, most of the day was spent in Despacio but it was notably busier and therefore hotter than Friday. We didn't spend as long as Friday for that reason. 

Hot Chip front-man Alex Taylor is touring with his own album which was perfect for a sit down and relax set during the early afternoon. He does need to be careful he doesn't nail the Timmy Mallett look too much. 

After a brief stop at Django Django it was back into the Jagermeister stage for Reeps One, who's an incredible beat-boxer. He didn't disappoint.

On the North Stage we watched Friendly Fires who were OK

Mattiel did a good job on the small Firestone stage.

Shout out to these guys "Up In My Grill" for the best food of the Festival. 

Father John Misty is not my thing at all, just way too folky, but he did have a huge level of support today.

The one regret of the weekend was that we didn't get to see all of the Flying Lotus 3D set. This was incredible with bizarre visuals accompanying an excellent soundscape. It must be quite a challenge to coordinate 3D glasses for a festival crowd.

 Beck who headlined the North Stage suffered from having a poor volume on his singing and a short set time, a third of which was given to the band showing their musicality by playing covers of others songs; a little disappointing. But we did get Devil's Haircut and Loser, which I'm sure he must be sick of playing now. 

The headline on Sunday was Bjork who is incredible but not an act I'd have thought would do a festival. We had wanted to make an early escape so didn't press too forward for this one. It was the right decision. We weren't going to get Big Time Sensuality (my favourite track) instead we got something with flutes and harps that she later referred to on Twitter as "an experiment". It won the crowd over, just not us.

and a special shout out to the wonderful lightning storm that competed for the headliner. 

Overall we had a great time and the organisers should be proud of what they did for their first APE. I'm sure it'll be back next year.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gigs #18-23 : All Points East (Friday)

Every year Victoria Park in Hackney has been home to Field Day and Lovebox, weekend festivals with a varied musical selection. In 2018, things changed however, when the organisers of Coachella and some other global festivals bidded for the site and won. The festival was called All Points East and a rather excellent line up was announced for the weekend festival and we agreed to give two of the days a go. This is day 1, Friday.

I arrived very early and got there before it opened, this was despite a fear of not getting there due to poor rail travel, which is hitting the London area currently. Security was fine, but they were doing handing out bags for our loose items as they do at airports. Supposedly to expedite the entry process, I was too early to see if it works; being one of the first in I had no queueing.


I was the first one into the Despacio room, and it was great to be reunited with the 7 audio overlords that are used by James Murphy and the Dewaele brothers to play excellent disco and slowed down dance remixes on one of the best sound systems in the world. It was clearly too early to take root in here, I'd be back later.

The first live act was Confidence Man who kicked off the music in the West Stage. Their set was better than when I saw them last year. Having their first album now out meant it was easier for them to fill their time slot, something the struggled to do on their last tour. They had a very good response but would have benefited from being on later. We were just a little too sober for their shenanigans. 

Hookworms were the first act we saw on the North Stage. Recommended by a friend, they were alright although the lead keyboard player looked like he'd cycled here with no time to change.

In the Jagermeister stage, a small intimate venue sponsored by the drink we saw Vessels. They were OK although the lead singer looked a bit like Death from Bill and Ted..."Best 3 out of 5". 

Also on the North Stage we caught Phoenix's set. They were pretty good, we mixed this set with the Young Fathers (good) who were on the East Stage (not photographed). The lineup was so strong we managed to miss Hot Chip Megamix and Chromeo. To be honest most of the afternoon was spent in the Despacio room where it was extremely dark and quite hot but an incredible clubbing experience. 

The headline on the Friday was the always excellent LCD Soundsystem. Super polished and always good but they're missing the "I was there" feeling that you should get from a band like this. Their show is the same show we saw at Ally Pally last year with a few song changes. It was incredible but is in danger of getting tired.

Film #68: Jurassic World

I didn't see the last Jurassic World film but I did play the Lego game of it, so I was familiar with the backstory to this one. In th...