Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone

I never really had an interest in this Harry Potter stuff.  Which I guess is weird because I am into british stuff & teen culture things.  They just looked long & boring to me & unlike The Lord of the Rings movies (which were also long & boring) I had no vested interest from my childhood.  But the past few weeks I’ve been assembling CDs because I saved a couple hundred bucks by assembling them at home.  Which means hours more of monotonous work than I normally have.  So one night nothing I wanted to watch was on TV & the first Harry Potter movie was on & people say “the first one is actually good” so I thought I could handle it while doing other work.

Well, I don’t get it.  I mean there are a lot of things in it that I routinely complain about in movies – too long, too many characters, no characters I care about – but beyond that I just don’t understand anyone over twelve being attracted to it.  For one thing it is not set up as a movie, it’s set up as 30 minute episodes bundled into a movie like some of the GI Joe cartoons & it really just doesn’t work for me.  I mean, clearly my time would’ve been better spent listening to the first Stooges record six times in a row (which would have been about as long as the movie).  & why are you going to title something “& the Sorcerer’s Stone” when the sorcerer’s stone doesn’t appear in the thing & could be replaced by any other made up object to use as a plot device (maybe the whole series works like that, I’m not going to bother to find out).  What scares me is some people I know that like this franchise say the first movie is better than the first book.  I just don’t understand the way things work.  More people should follow Clint Eastwood’s advice; “It’s just as much work to make a bad movie as a good movie; so you may as well make a good one.”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Metallica - Live Shit: Binge & Purge

Ok so this isn’t really a review of the entire box set.  Truth be told I’ve hated everything the’ve done since 1989.  To me that’s about the time they stopped being influenced by the “new wave of british heavy metal” and started down the sad road of blues rock.  But there was an inclusion of a 1989 Professionally shot concert in this box set that I had always wanted to see.   This was the same year I saw Metallica do a proper concert @ the Frankfurt mesthalle.  Prior to that I had only seen them do a brief set during a Monster of Rock performance where they were promoting the 5.98 EP and introducing the world to their new bass player Jason Newsted.  

So yeah somebody I knew bought the box set and so I got the opportunity to finally check it out. Once again this review can fit both FCO & the N=D blogs,  let's start.  

A couple of things I noticed while watching: 1.) at one point Metallica was actually a good band and this was either the pinnacle or the trailing off period, I’m still undecided on this since I never saw them during the Cliff Days except for via the horrible bootleg videos on the Cliff’em All vhs and 2.)  James Hetfield used to have a different voice than he does now.   It used to be sort of growly and metallic sounding and now it’s sort of clear and whiney.  Maybe the big influence Danzig had on the band (including the Justice era look) pushed them down that bluesy, clear voiced Hetfield people such as myself have grown to hate on.   Things I recall about the concert I went to in 89 and this video didn’t mesh.  Jason Newsted gets two bass solos and a lot of liberties on the microphone, including an entire verse of ‘Whiplash’.  Hammet’s guitar solos are really sloppy here as well.  I’m not sure if that’s always the case or not but while not downright bad, the solos are kind of rough spots on this video (besides Newsted on the mica microphone that is).  Granted most of the songs from Justice sort of bring the performance down because they are too long, part of Metallica’s rebellion against playing 3 minute pop songs but they make up for it with great execution of some songs from Kill em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, as well as some covers like Last Caress and Budgie’s Bread Fan.    All in all if you liked Metallica this is a great reminder of how horrible they are now and maybe somebody could convince Hetfield to ditch the others and go solo and it’s a fun watch if you were ever a fan of theirs.  The quick editing gets a bit annoying though…so be warned.

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