Sophie Scholl

This is German film based on a true story about three student resistance group members caught in Nazi Germany for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets.

It is gripping stuff from start to end and had superb performances, especially from the leading actress who unsurprisingly received the award for best actress at various European award ceremonies. Everything else about it was just as good, I can’t really think of any criticisms at all.

The court scene where Sophie, her brother, and a friend were tried was a fantastic scene, it showed just how twisted and sick the Nazis were. I was reading about the judge in that trial, and he was a seriously evil man who met his fate in the last year of the war when his courtroom was bombed, although it would have been preferable if he was himself tried in front of the allies after the war.

The very last scene was brief but utterly depressing and shocking, I wasn’t expecting it.

Sophie Scholl is now a national hero in Germany, and was voted as the fourth most important German of all time.

A hard film to watch, but worth it nonetheless.

Date watched: April 13th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 28

A Gaggle of Aluminium-coated Polycarbonate

It was my umpteenth birthday recently, so to commiserate I just had to buy some music to dull the pain. Here is what I have amassed…

Pearl Jam – No Code
One of the bands I am slowly collecting the album discography of is Pearl Jam, a band I like, but not a lot. This is their fourth album after Ten, Vs., and Vitalogy, which are all good albums. This album though seems to be where Pearl Jam became just an ordinary band as this one did not grab me, and none since. A middle-of-the-road five out of ten.

Suede – Dog Man Star
On the cover this says “The London Suede” which is the name for Suede in the U.S. for reasons why I cannot find on the interwebs. Like the Pearl Jam album this did not grab me much, their first album is a lot better. Perhaps I have to warm to these two albums, but for the time being this gets a vanilla six out of eleven.

Bad Religion – No Substance
Another band I am collecting albums from. This album gets mixed reviews, but I find it to be quite listenable, and besides this band hasn’t really changed their sound much over the years so they can’t really get any better or any worse. The cover is not a good one though, usually Bad Religion have some good covers. A solid seven out of eleven.

Southern Culture on the Skids – Dirt Track Date
This is a band I had been aware of for a long time, but passed them by which I shouldn’t have as they are very entertaining. Their albums are rare used, but I shall seek out more. An easy nine out of eleven.

Elastica – Elastica
Another band that I have not really paid much attention to, and again it turned out to be a very decent listen. I really must diverge out a bit more and try more bands. A delectable eight out of eleven.

EMF – Unexplained EP
We moved house recently, and I discovered to my delight that there is a place just a few minutes walk away that sells used CD’s, DVD’s, and comics, so I had to check it out. There is a decent collection of music CD’s there, and I found this one for just 50 yen, a veritable bargain.

I wasn’t really into EMF back in the day, except for their song “Unbelievable” which was a catchy tune in the day. This EP doesn’t change things, it is quite unmemorable. A cheap three out of eleven.

The Divine Comedy – A Short Album About Love
I also found this at the new place for 300 yen. I like this band a lot, so I quickly put it in my clutches. It turns out though that I may already have it as when I got home I checked my music player and it was there. I then checked my music spreadsheet and it was there too. But, looking through my actual collection in my CD shelf it does not appear to be there. A mystery. Anyway, this is top stuff of course. A meaty nine out of eleven.

Music count 2018: 36

Hacksaw Ridge

I always like to watch films about World War Two as I have an interest in WW2 history, so I was looking forward to this.

And it was pretty good stuff, especially as it was based on a true story, and apparently most of it was accurate. Mel Gibson directed, and I must say he did a good job. It was slickly made and the action sequences were very well done, and it did not use a lot of CGI trickery, Mel wanted to keep it real. He had a budget of 40 million bucks, with the film making 175 big ones at the box office, so he will be in the film studio’s good books again. His next project is a sequel to The Passion of the Christ.

My only criticisms would be that perhaps the portrayal of the Japanese soldiers was a bit stereotypical, and that it got just a bit too sappy at times. The ridge in question in real life was a whole lot smaller than in reality, but Mel knows a thing or two about spectacle.

There are better war films, but this is still a very good watch.

Date watched: March 31st
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 27

Star Wars: Rogue One

James and I wanted to see this again after seeing at the film theatre last yaer.

The best thing to do would be to read my first review as it all still holds true.

Briefly though, it is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars universe, entertaining from beginning to end, and the short scene of Darth Vader going berzerb with his lightsaber is most excellent.

Date watched: March 31st
Score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 26

Bubba Ho-Tep

I had seen this many years ago, before this blog started, but I wanted to see it again as I had forgotten a lot of it and anything with Bruce Campbell is always pure gold.

The story was slow moving, but Bruce’s portrayal of Elvis Presley held the whole thing together, as well as Ossie Davis as a fellow who thought he was John F. Kennedy. Add in an Egyptian mummy who is slowly picking off the old people where Elvis and JFK live by sucking their souls out through their behinds and you have quite a unique story at least. The story is also about growing old and just how much it sucks, as well as the pitfalls of fame.

I haven’t seen many films about Elvis, if any, but I would say that Bruce’s portrayal of him is the best ever and will never be topped. He was in no way mocking Elvis, and his Elvis accent was spot on. One of the greats is Bruce.

The film cost a million bucks to make (and made 1.2 million), but it did not feel too much like a low budget film. It was shot well and the supporting cast were not B-grade actors. The only disappointment is the mummy which just looked like a zombie wearing a cowboy outfit.

Another classic Bruce film, not his best, but still well worth a watch.

Date watched: March 30th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 25

Punky dub techno mashup vibes

After buying that Green Day singles box a few weeks back I came across the “Minority” single at Book Off, so thought I may as well add it to the Green Day collection. My Green Day discography now equals my Manic Street Preachers collection at twenty CDs in all.

Poking around Bandcamp today I came across a compilation called “In Dub We Trust” for only 82 yen. With 30 songs I couldn’t resist buying it. I would describe it as dub techno, and what I have heard is pretty good.

I have decided to add free downloads to my posts (previously I only wrote about music that I have bought), starting with a compilation of punk bands released this year by a label called Rockstar Records. Again, I have not had a good listen, but the quick browse through the songs shows that it is a decent download.

These are a couple of mashup releases, both free on Bandcamp. I like a good mashup, so I couldn’t pass them up. The second one contains 61 tracks. Click on the cover images to go to the Bandcamp page, and treat yourself to fine mashup sounds.

Music count 2018: 29

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