Edge Of Tomorrow

Looking through Amazon Prime last night I came across this. The title of this film in Japan is “All You Need Is Kill”, which is the name of the Japanese story this was based on, so I thought I had not seen it until a few minutes in. But, I felt like a silly science fiction/action film, and it has The Cruiser, so I was more than happy to watch it again.

I last saw this in 2015, and I had forgotten quite a lot of it, so that was good. Here is some of what I said about it last time:

Tom Cruise is usually a good bet these days, his films are entertaining, don’t require any brain power, and have plenty of action. This one also had a few funny bits which Tom carried out well. The story, which is based on a Japanese novel is pretty good although it is just a futuristic action version of Groundhog Day. The CG was fabs, especially the aliens. Bill Paxton was in this, he has been annoying in some films in the past, but I thought he was good in this and he did some good comedy bits.

I totally agree with myself on all counts. Jolly good fun.

Date watched: September 16th
Score: 9/10
Tommo score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 58

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

After watching the various Tim Roth and Gary Oldman films recently, I decided it was time to visit this film, a film I last saw a very long time ago.

My memories of this this film before I watched it were that it was witty and fun to watch, but as I started watching it I remembered that it is actually quite tedious and kind of boring, for the most part. It is certainly not “mercilessly funny”.

The story was kind of confusing at times. It is based on Hamlet, a play I have never read, so maybe if I knew that story better this may have made more sense.

And despite Tim and Gazza being two fave actors of mine, I thought they both over-played their roles a bit, they seemed to think that they had better act this as if they were on stage rather than on a film set, perhaps that is the director’s fault. So, their comedic reactions were a bit over the top with a lot of double-takes, comedy pauses, and various other techniques more commonly seem on stage or in bad TV comedies.

It was genuinely funny at times though, I especially liked Gary Oldman’s character building modern machines out of paper, or “discovering” scientific concepts, only to have Tim’s character destroy or completely ignore them. Some of the dialogue was quite witty and funny, there was just not enough of it.

Reviews for this were mixed, with Wikipedia saying that some reviews say it is more suited to the stage than film. It received a Golden Lion at the Venice Film festival. Roger Ebert did not like it at all.

I may just try to read Hamlet and see if that helps me understand or not understand this film a little better: that is the question. But, I do find Shakespeare tiresome to read…perhaps a dumbed-down version will be in order.

Date watched: September 14th
Score: 5/10
Film count 2018: 57

St. XL Goo

I took my daughter to art class as usual last Saturday, and thought that instead of paying 300 yen on parking in the city while I wait for her, why not spend it on music? So, I drove ten minutes or so to Hard Off where I found the following CDs in the 100 yen bins.

Junkie XL – Saturday Teenage Kick

This was my first find, and I was most pleased to get this.

Junkie XL is a Dutch DJ who has had quite a good career. He has made music for films such as Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Deadpool. He also does video game music, which is how I was first introduced to him playing the Burnout Games on my old PSP.

This is his first album, and is it quite good…if you like a bit of electronica. Judge for ye self…

Certainly one of the best bargain buys this year.

The Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up The Girl

I chose this because I know little of The Goo Goo Dolls, just the name really. So, I quickly looked them up on the webs and saw that this gets decent reviews, and that the album is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year with the band doing a tour for it. So I thought it would be worth getting to see what all the fuss is about.

It is not bad, there are some good tracks, but it is not an album I will listen to very often. Still, for 100 yen it was well worth it.

Saint Etienne – Fairy Tales From Saint Etienne

This is a Japan-only release, and is a best-of album.

I have not heard any of the tracks, and they are all nice but nothing overly exciting at all. I do have one of their albums, and it is pretty much the same.

Good background music though.

Music count 2018: 89

I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol

This is Glen Matlock’s autobiography about his time in the band, and is a reissue of the original 1990 book, with a few added chapters outlining what the Pistols have done since. This was cheap for Kindle on Amazon.

It starts off with a brief look at his life before the Pistols, but quickly get into how he joined the band. Something I did not know was that he was working in Malcolm McLaren’s shop long before he was taken on as the bassist for the band.

There are a lot of stories and details about Malcolm McLaren, each of the band members, and various other aspects of the Sex Pistols, as well as some things about Sid Vicious. It is all told seemingly honestly and unbiased. Like any musician there is a little ego, but not a giant one, and he did not resort mud-slinging. John Lydon is obviously a difficult character, but Glen overall seems to respect him quite a lot, as well as his other band mates. He said at one point that Steve Jones is the heart of the band…interesting, but probably true.

Sometimes his attempts at humour and turn of phrase did not work well, but on the whole it was well written.

Highly recommended for Sex Pistols fans.

Book count 2018: 5

Deaf Non-Plussed JPEG Kid Swims

I have one CD and four Bandcamp purchases to report on.

Die! Die! Die! – Swim

Die! Die! Die! is a Dunedin band I have been slowly collecting releases from. They are classed as a punk band, but that is not really accurate…more of a noise rock band, not that it really matters.

This album came out in 2014 and I remember at the time wanting to get it, but forgot about it. So finally I bought it on Bandcamp, and while it is nothing new from them it is still a very worthy album.

They released a new album last year, so I will get around to buying that some day.

Radiohead – Kid A

As I have mentioned before I am not a huge Radiohead fan, but I never pass up a chance to buy an album of theirs if it is a reasonable price. I paid 300 yen for this I think, which is a bargain for a used Radiohead CD. A sticker on the cover said it had scratches, but I just cannot see any damage whatsoever on the CD although the plastic case is a bit roughed up so perhaps that is it.

The music itself is good, but does not grab me any more than any other Radiohead album. No regrets though.

Deafheaven – Roads to Judah

My obsession with Deafheaven continues with this Bandcamp purchase, their first album.

Actually, I have not had a good listen, but what I have heard is pure aural bliss. You can decide for yourself by listening to them here.

JPEGMafia – Veteran

Earlier tonight I did a search on Googles for “best of Bandcamp” and found this experimental hip hop release. It was a “Name your price” release, so I paid a few dollars and gleefully downloaded it.

Again, I have not had a good listen, but I have been getting into experimental hip hop recently and this one seems like a pretty good one. Listen for yourself, that is the best thing to do.

NONPLUS 043 – Pre Dawn / Indoors by Burial

While I was on Bandcamp earlier I decided to see if Burial had any new releases, and on his page there was nothing. But, after following a few links I came across this two-track release.

NONPLUS is a record label in the U.K. and this appears to be the only Burial release they have.

It is pure Burial, so is Golden Gordon all the way. Listen here.

Music count 2018: 86

Made In Britain

Straight after watching Meantime I just had to watch this, a 1982 television play starring Tim Roth in his first role.

Like Meantime it has no real story, it just follows Tim Roth’s 16 year-old skinhead character “Trevor” as he is charged in court on various charges and is sent to a youth detention centre. A youth worker can see that he is intelligent and tries to get him to go straight, but Trevor seems basically resigned to a life of hate and self-destruction.

Tim is absolutely brilliant in this, and the contrast between his characters in this and Meantime show what an excellent and underrated actor he is. The very last scene where you see a crazed look on his face after being beaten by a cop was powerful stuff, and it summed up the character and his future well.

This is part of a series of four films written by David Leland about the British educational system, so I will try to watch the others if I can find them.

Seeing both Tim Roth and Gary Oldman together in a film (Meantime) reminded me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, another excellent film that I must watch again, probably next actually.

Date watched: August 25th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 56

Meantime

This is a film I remember watching way back in the 90’s, and it had a lasting impression on me. I last watched it in 2010.

It is a 1983 made-for-TV film starring Phil Daniels (he had the speaking part in Blur’s “Parklife” song), Tim Roth, and Gary Oldman. Alfred Molina had a smaller role.

The story follows two brothers (Daniels and Roth) as they basically just go about their daily life on the dole, along with their bitter father, and the equally bitter but working mother. Gary Oldman plays a skinhead who does the usual skinhead things. It isn’t a story as much a look at the extremely depressing life of working-class in the East End of London under Margaret Thatcher.

For contrast, the mother’s sister lives in a much more well-off suburban part of the city and does her best to help Roth’s character, but we see that even her seemingly idylic life is also troubled…money doesn’t buy everything.

It was directed by Mike Leigh, who does these kinds of films extremely well, and it is just plain superbness throughout. This was Tim Roth’s second film (TV film), with Made In England being his first, which I am going to watch next.

Date watched: August 25th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 55