Apparently she’s releasing a new single so I asked if he’d ever heard of her. Her name meant nothing to him. It’s fascinating how someone so massively famous can disappear into near obscurity like that with the passage of so little time.
The best book I read in 2015 is one of the Kindle 99p books of the day.
There’s also a Charles Manson book. I watched the Netflix show Mindhunters and bought and read the book it’s based upon so I’m not in the mood for more serial killer stuff.
I’ve just finished the book Reacher Said Nothing by Andy Martin. It’s an interesting book about the creation of the twentieth novel (Make Me). It’s worth a read if you’re interested in behind the scenes stories.
I’ve not read any of the Reacher novels as I’m not into airport genre fiction. They just don’t do anything for me. Someone said they’d get their hands on a book for me so I can give it a try but I doubt it will hold my attention.
I feel there’s a blog post to be made about the books despite my own lack of useful input. So, any opinions on the books you want to share? Favourites or hated books.
I watched the first movie for the second time. My review:
Jack Reacher (2013) Nomadic ex-military policeman Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) becomes involved in investigating a mass killing by a sniper.
I don’t know if it’s the original book by Lee Child or if it’s this film’s writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, but there’s a strong sense of an intelligent person overseeing what is a rather nuts and bolts pulpy story. It has an authority to it that elevates it a notch or two » Continue Reading.
It worked for me a few days ago.
Society (1989) is a vaguely interesting oddball horror film of some note. It’s on the UK Horror channel tonight at 12:20am. They do not broadcast in HD. My review:
A paranoid 17-year-old high school kid (Billy Warlock) feels increasingly uncomfortable about his wealthy family.
I had very low expectations for this as I tried to watch it circa twenty years ago and gave up with boredom after about half an hour. It was a fair bit better than I expected. It was clunky and awkward with technically weak direction, iffy acting and a sluggish pace but I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. The script is underdeveloped and tells its small story in a plodding, obvious way with too many questionable moments of character behaviour, as well as several unexplained moments. It’s a script that feels like it could have done with another rewrite to add flesh on the bones. If you’re expecting a conventional horror movie it will disappoint as very little happens in the first hour, and there’s no shock scares or suspenseful sequences. It’s not a scary film. It’s too cheesy to be creepy. Despite how clunky and artless the whole thing is, » Continue Reading.
There’s a six part Grateful Dead documentary on Amazon Prime called Long Strange Trip. It was interesting (and I say this as someone who doesn’t like their music).
LOUDspeaker on Books
Kindle Unlimited is a £8/$10 monthly subscription on Amazon that allows you to borrow books to read. The catalogue is extensive but it’s mostly self-published. I have dipped in twice many months apart (it’s easy to cancel). Going over the archived list of my borrowed books I picked out these as the better ones I’ve read. They might interest you.
Tiger Tracks – The Classic Panzer Memoir by Wolfgang Faust (author), Sprech Media (translator) Fascinating first-hand account of the hell of the Eastern front from a German’s point of view. I highly recommend this.
The Last Panther – Slaughter of the Reich – The Halbe Kessel 1945 by Wolfgang Faust (author), Sprech Media (translator) Fascinating first-hand account of the hell of the Eastern front from a German’s point of view. I highly recommend this.
D DAY Through German Eyes – The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 by Holger Eckhertz (author, editor), Sprech Media (translator) Collected verbal recollections from the German point of view transcribed from interviews conducted in the 60s.
D DAY Through German Eyes – Book 2 – More hidden stories from June 6th 1944 by Holger Eckhertz (author, editor), Sprech Media (translator) Collected verbal » Continue Reading.
I’ve just discovered the existence of a fourth Blood Ceremony album. The vinyl version (with MP3) is currently £10.70 on Amazon for the next two hours as a lightening deal. If I did vinyl I would have bought it. I haven’t heard a note so I have no idea how good or bad it is, but the previous albums are truly excellent. In the past they sounded like Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull, but in a good way.
From the Amazon product description:
Taking it’s title from this fascinating slice of religious history, Blood Ceremony’s fourth album evokes pagan rites and the bizarre mystical underbelly of rural Britain. Embracing the psychedelic and progressive in their indelible songcraft, guitarist Sean Kennedy, bassist Lucas Gadke, drummer Michael Carrillo and triple threat vocalist/flautist/organist Alia O’Brien have created what Kennedy calls “a very English album,” despite the band’s very Canadian heritage. Recorded to analogue tape with producer Liam Watson at Toe Rag Studios in London, Lord Of Misrule possesses a timeless quality within the rock epoch: It could stand alongside a Shocking Blue or Deep Purple record as easily as it will take it’s place among 2016’s finest albums. Lord Of Misrule conjures a » Continue Reading.
Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth are a 50s comedy and musical double act who split after a murder scandal. Fifteen years later a journalist (Alison Lohman) is writing a book about them.
I’m rather so-so on writer-director Atom Egoyan. His films are a bit bland but at least his early work was interestingly odd. His later work became more conventional, but I assumed his identity as an unusual director was lost. I saw Chloe (2009) and thought it was his best film despite being much less ‘interesting’ than his earlier work. Somehow I’ve just kept to my assumption that he was a spent force creatively after The Sweet Hereafter (1997). The trailer for this made it look boring, and the 50s comedy double act subject matter held no appeal. I was happy to skip it for over a decade.
So I started this film with very low expectations. It was significantly better than I expected. Straightaway I was hooked. The film is brilliant. It’s by far his best movie. It’s got a great plot, good dialogue exchanges, the acting is good and it’s visually lavish. I was fully engaged throughout and thought it was a fascinating movie.
Hitchcock 14 film Blu-Ray box set for £20.
David Lynch 6 film DVD box set for £7.50.
As seen on the UK version of Netflix:
The Last Heist (2016) Bank robbers end up in a tense hostage situation with the police when a simple bank robbery goes wrong. To make matters worse they are trapped with a notorious serial killer who is on the loose inside the building.
This was stunningly bad. It’s only three or four notches away from The Room (2003) level of ineptitude. It’s not comically bad with endlessly quotable dialogue and twisted logic, but it’s not that far from it. Its problem is that it’s deeply amateurish. It feels like a movie made by fifteen-year-olds who need at least another ten years of maturing and artistic development. The creative minds responsible for this film have obviously seen too many movies but don’t have the competence or the artistry to craft anything of value. As it is they have made a risible movie full of tin-eared dialogue, bad acting, bland TV visuals and sluggish editing.
It’s all so fake looking on all levels. It’s a toxic combination of everything not working and not cohering into something with any hint of realism or at least its own internal BS movie logic. You can » Continue Reading.
FYI A self-published book about editing Star Wars seems to be free to download at the moment. You may or may not find it mildly interesting. I read it a few months ago (as part of Kindle Unlimited so it was semi-‘free’) and thought it harmless if a little pointless.
The Editing of Star Wars: How Cutting Created a Classic by Linton Davies
I read a book of questions and answers about horror films called What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie? by Killian H. Gore.
The questions (with my modifications) were:
Favourite horror film? Favourite horror director? Favourite horror sub-genre? Favourite ‘bad’ horror movie? Favourite horror killer? Favourite horror monster/creature? Favourite horror franchise? Favourite horror sequel? Favourite horror remake? Favourite zombie movie? Recommend an obscure horror film for a hardcore genre fan. Favourite non-horror film with a strong horror flavour? What’s the film that made you the most consistently fearful, and what age were you at the time? What’s the single biggest jump scare you’ve experienced? Any horror film that went too far in a bad way? What’s the weirdest horror film you’ve ever seen?
You want to answer them? This might be an old internet meme that I’m unaware of so sorry if this sort of thing has been done before.
My answers are what come to me at this moment in time. I’m bound to have forgotten a bunch of great films.
Favourite horror film?
The Thing (1982) is a very strong candidate.
Favourite horror director?
Favourite horror sub-genre?
I want to say slasher even though I only » Continue Reading.
They made Chuck Norris films and Superman 4 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. A very interesting company whose films dispensed with logic.
They made terrible movie but the story behind them should be fascinating.
You can stream it to your PC or games console etc. I’ve streamed a paid for rental from them before and had no issues.
I’ve not seen it but the writer-director’s previous work has been very good.
An astronaut is stranded alone on Mars with limited supplies, and it will be four years before the next mission to Mars when he might be rescued. I read the book two and half years ago and loved it. I haven’t read a better work of fiction since. To me it was a remarkable novel, and it was obvious ready-made material for a summer Hollywood blockbuster with a massive star in the lead role. So I’ve waited two and a half years for the movie version. I went in with middling expectations. It was pretty much the perfect adaptation. They added nothing new and made no stupid additions or alterations (the short opening and closing scenes might be new but they were good). They kept closely to the novel and removed the right stuff. As far as I can tell it’s the same characters, dialogue, scenes and situations from the novel. It’s an accurate, faithful adaption. I didn’t notice anything significant missing. At least I personally didn’t miss anything. If I wanted it in the movie version then it made it into the movie. The stuff they did remove was non-essential and made logical sense. The long journey at the » Continue Reading.
I’m reading a book called Projections 10 from 1999. Mike Figgis (film director) asks Robert Downey Jr a question on page 205.
‘Do you like watching films?’ ‘Sure. Well, not The Avengers, but every other one.’
Great Whit Stillman film (it’s also on Netflix)
The tagline: ‘For these girls… it’s not what you learn, it’s whom you educate.’
It’s better than Sorcerer (1977), but then most things are.
Are you aware that if you click on the white Windows logo in the bottom right of your screen beside the clock you can order a free advance copy of Windows 10 (worth £100)? It’s for a limited time only.
If someone hadn’t told me I wouldn’t know about it as I ignored the thing when it popped up about three weeks ago.
The book was discussed about a year ago on this website. The link is to a 55 minute interview.
I understand the concept that vinyl has become quite popular. I get that. I’m not confused. I was in a music shop early in the morning and I saw a queue of middle aged people buying one or three albums on the format. It reminded me of an Open All Hours joke when Ronnie Barker lined up ten sets of cigarettes on the counter for his regulars who would be in as soon as the door opened.
Is vinyl proper big now? The shop had devoted a lot more prime real-estate to the format recently. Is it no longer a niche and a music shop can actual make real money selling the format?
NOTE: I do not, and have never, used vinyl so it’s a pointless, dated format to me.
‘The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir’
I’m not a fan (I don’t own any of their music) but I watched it and found it very interesting. He’s a very articulate man.
I recommended this book (great for film buffs) to someone and went online to get the web address to email to them. The band at the top of the screen tells me I bought it three years ago to the day. Spooky.