Reincarnated

This is a documentary, produced in part by Snoopadelic films, about Snoop Dogg’s visit to Jamaica to become a rastaman… supposedly.

Snoop claims a few times that he felt he was a born rasta, so he needed to go to Jamaica, cut a reggae record, meet Bunny Wailer, convert to rastafari, and of course smoke plenty of weed. He did all this, although he just didn’t seem all that sincere about converting to rastafari, or was at least too stoned to take anything seriously. As it turns out Bunny Wailer was not too pleased after the film was released.

From Wikipedia: Bunny Wailer made a statement where he indicted Snoop of “outright fraudulent use” of the Rastafari faith.

I thought the portrayal of rastafari faith in the film seemed a bit too stereotypical, they basically seem to like saying “Jah Rastafari!” a lot, then smoke plenty of ganja.

There was a bit of Snoop Dogg history interspersed throughout the film, including his days as a drug dealer, as well as his short time as an actual pimp. He seems like a very mellow fella now, but that will mostly be down to the large amount of blunt he consumes. His daughter sang one of the songs on the album he recorded in the film.

Not essential watching.

Date watched: December 3rd
Score: 5/10
Film count 2017: 140

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

This is a documentary made by Ice=t about how rappers go about writing their music.

He starts off in New York where rap started, and talks with people like Grandmaster Caz (never heard of him, but he is supposedly one of the first rappers), Yasiin (formerly known as Mos Def), and a few others. He then goes to Detroit to see Eminem, who Ice-T seems to have a lot of respect for, then off to Los Angeles. There he meets up with B-Real from Cypress Hill, Run and DMC, Chuck D, Ice Cube, Kanye West, KRS-One, and Snoop Dogg, amongst others. There is also a look at the history of rap.

He asks each rapper about their writing process, and gets them to do a rap to the camera, most of which are quite impressive, and each one has their own unique style. Snoop Dogg was a highlight as he is such a chill and funny guy.

Ice-T was totally down with each person he met, he seemed to be very chummy with all of them. He did a couple of raps of him own.

But unless you like rap this is probably not for everyone. I did find some of the raps a bit tiring at times, they mostly rap about how dangerous they are and how they like shooting guns and spliffing spliffs. But, their passion for writing their music is clearly evident, and they are certainly talented and confident of themselves. They were also all very knowledgeable and respectful of the history of rap and other forms of music.

Date watched: December 9th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 139

A Disparate Assemblage of Melodies


John Lennon – Imagine
There is no real need to introduce or comment on this album. Oh no, there isn’t!


Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam are not a fave band at all, but I like them nonetheless. I have not fully listened to this yet, but what I have heard seems like typical PJ stuff.


Trainspotting soundtrack
An excellent soundtrack from a fabs film.


Buck Futtons – Street Horrrsing
Looking through my music collection I came across Slow Focus, the third album by this band, and thought that it is such a great album that I must get their first album. So that I did. It does not disappoint.


Buck Futtons – Tarot Sport
Looking through my music collection I came across Slow Focus, the third album by this band, and thought that it is such a great album that I must get their second album. So that I did. It does not disappoint.


Pennywise – Land of the Free?
I have several other Pennywise releases, so when I found this I thought I may as well get it, even though I would not say they are an essential band to listen to. Their music though is decent enough, if you like this kind of thing.

Album count 2017: 116

JCVD

This is great, the Mussels from Brussels plays a stressed out version of himself in this crime drama (it’s quite funny too). He is having a bad day and gets caught up in a bank heist in Brussels, and has a bit of a personal crisis inside. At one point he directly addresses the audience, it’s the best part of the film, Peter Bradshaw reviewed the film for The Guardian and called the monologue “a Godardian coup de cinéma”. Indeed it was Peter.

Everyone else is great too, the main bad guy is a deliberate lookalike of Sal from Dog Day Afternoon, in fact, the setup is identical to that film. Top stuff.

Date watched: 3rd December
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2017: 64

Weekend of a Champion

I stumbled across this on Netflix and had to watch it becaue it was about Formula 1 and Jackie Stewart.

It was directed by Roman Polanski who is a good friend of Jackie’s, and was filmed over the course of the 1971 Monaco GP weekend.

It followed Jackie as he prepared for the race, with plenty of behind the scenes footage which was fascinating to watch. There was footage of him talking to his engineers about car setup, talking with other drivers including Graham Hill, Francois Cevert (Jackie’s teammate, who died two years later), and to Roman himself.

The trackside and in-car footage was good to see. Jackie had a 16 mm camera in the car with him which gave some great footage as he screamed around the circuit during practice. The cars in those days looked fragile and lacked basic driver safety, so those drivers were truly brave and slightly nuts. Both Chris Amon and Denny Hulme were in the race also (both NZ drivers).

The almost total lack of safety was clearly evident. Jackie was at the time trying to get Formula 1 safety improved, and it was his efforts that have made F1 as safe as it is today. But, in this documentary you can see track marshals, photographers, and other people right on the side of the track during the race, with absolutely no barrier between them and the cars which in places were passing by only a metre or so away.

As this is Monaco there were plenty of celebrities around, and in the after-race dinner we saw Ringo Starr, Joan Collins, Grace Kelly, and Prince Rainer.

After this premiered in 1972 it had a small release then was forgotten for 40 years. Roman rediscovered it, recut it, and it was re-released in 2013. Roman added some present day footage shot in the same hotel room where Jackie and his wife stayed during the 1971 race weekend. He talked with Jackie about the race, his work on F1 safety, Jackie’s dyslexia, and sideburns.

This is really only for Jackie Stewart and Formula 1 fans, of which I am both so I enjoyed it. For others it might be a bit dull.

Date watched: December 4th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 138

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

This is a film that I chanced upon at my fave DVD rental place, and I decided I had to see because it is a well-known film, and it has The Kirkster.

It is based on an actual event that took place in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881, and is considered to be the most famous gun fight of the American Wild West.

Burt Lancaster plated Wyatt Earp with The Kirkster as Doc Holliday, and also featured Lee Van Cleef, John Ireland, DeForest Kelley, and a very young Dennis Hopper.

The story mostly focussed on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, and the simmering feud between them and the cowboy cattle-smuggling gangsters, and of course culminated in a shootout.

According to Wikipedia there were quite a lot of historical inaccuracies, including the gunfight itself which in the film was fought at medium range, but in reality was face-to-face. The actual fight lasted only thirty seconds, but in the film it was of course longer. There was also a love story between Wyatt and a lady gambler which was completely fabricated, probably to attract the female audience.

The highlight of this film was the story between Wyatt and Doc Holliday, both Burt and The Kirkster were fabs in their parts. Dennis Hopper too was great, even though his part was quite small. The rest of the cast held their own.

It is a two-hour film, which was perhaps a bit too long, but overall it was a standard but decent watch.

Date watched: December 2nd
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 137

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