Crossfire Hurricane

This is an excellent documentary about the Stones, only goes up until 1981 but they became pretty boring from the eighties onward anyway. Narrated by the band themselves and consisting entirely of arrival footage its quite an eye-opener, especially the first few years of the band, they were certainly crazy times for them. No wonder Keith got on the drugs (along with everyone else), Mick Taylor left the band so he’d stay alive.

The director went onto make the Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck doco, he also made the excellent The Kid Stays in the Picture. This one has the most cuts I’ve ever seen in any film I think.

Tops stuff, especially the first 30 minutes.

Date watched: 25th June.
Score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 30

Shield for Murder

I am back to watching film noir with this 1954 bad cop film.

The story starts with bad cop shooting a bookie in the back, then nicking off with the twenty-five large ones he knew the bookie had on him. What he didn’t realise was a deaf mute saw the whole thing from the window of his apartment.

The story then followed bad cop, his girlfriend, and a junior cop who worshipped bad cop but suspected something dirty was afoot. The story moved along quite well, and the tension built up quite well, culminating in a good ol’s car chase and final shootout.

There was one scene which was surprisingly violent. Bad cop beat up two private detectives by bashing their heads with his bare hands, over and over. We didn’t see him actually hitting them, just his hands going up and down, but for the fifties this must have been quite brutal.

The acting was pretty good on the whole, a bit stiff at times, but decent enough. And it was a who’s who of younger versions of actors of the fifties, sixties, and beyond. Here are some of the faces you may recognise…


Carolyn Jones, as her Addams Family character in this photo


Claude Atkins


William Schallert


Edmond O’Brien played bad cop. Not a familiar face, but he had quite the career

A worthy watch.

Date watched: June 25th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 72

Ringo & Billy

Billy Preston: I Wrote a Simple Song – This is a freebie I picked up at a local bookstore, Billy is probably most famous for playing with The Beatles. This was released in 1971 and is in a pretty ratty state, but Billy is looking pretty cool on the cover.

Ringo Starr: Ringo – Like the Billy Preston record, I got this for free off my pal at the second-hand bookstore here in Dubbo, I’ve become quite chummy with him and he has an excellent record collection which he is slowly selling, I’ve probably acquired at least half of it already. So he sometimes gives me records for free, the ones which are bit scratched or if the cover is in bad shape, like this one. Water somehow got into one of his boxes of records and completely stuffed it, the actual LP is in mint condition.

If the cover was mint too he would probably sell this for $100. The record came with a booklet with the lyrics and drawings by Klaus Voorman (he did the artwork for Revolver), which is still in good enough nick. The record itself has all four Beatles playing on it, with I’m the Greatest featuring three of them, so rumours abounded at the time of a reunion. Marc Bolan, Harry Nilsson, Jim Keltner and Paul and Linda McCartney all play on this along with John and George. This is probably Ringo’s best record, sounds like everyone was having a blast recording it.

Album Count 2017: 49

A Plethora of Piling-up Platters

The music is piling-up next to me at my desk, so much so that I am running out of space to put it all before it goes into the shelf of musical joys. So here is what there is in no particular order, some of it unlistened to at this point.


Bob Dylan, Billboard Hits U.S.A.
This is my latest purchase, just a few hours old actually. I found this in Book Off, el cheapo, and bought it because it is Bob, and because it was released by some obscure label who seemed to want to make a quick buck (really cheap looking cover). I looked it up online and it is not an official release. But, it has Bob’s early songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, so it will be worth it in spades.


Green Day, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
My quest to get all of the major releases by Green Day is almost at an end with the purchase of this early album. It is pretty raw stuff, but it is Green Day through and through.


Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
I have been a Slipknot fan for a while, but this is actually the first CD I have bought of theirs. I have yet to listen to it.


Punk-O-Rama, #5
My Punk-O-Rama buying-O-rama continues with this purchase from Amazon for 1 yen plus postage. Most of the artists on this are the usual suspects such as Pennywise, Refused, Rancid, and Voodoo Glow Skulls, all ace punkster bands.


Bad Religion, Tested
I have only got into Bad Religion recently, all due to the Punk-O-Rama series. They are awfully good. This is their “First official Bad Religion live album, featuring 3 brand new songs” according to the sticker on the cover. Before buying it at Mandai Shoten (one of my CD-hunting haunts) I checked it out online and one reviewer said it is an excellent live album, so that was good enough for me.


The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This was dirt cheap because the sticker attached to the cover by the fine staff at Mandai Shoten said it was scratched. When I took this to the counter (along with Bad Religion, Foo Fighters, and Green Day) the staff guy showed me the disc so I could see the damage… I saw absolutely nothing. Looking at it just now I found a tiny spec which at first looked like dust, but it is indeed a defect, but nothing to worry about at all, and it ripped just fine. Anyway, this is Smashing Pumpkins so it may or may not be anything more than decent.


Foo Fighters, One By One
I am almost caught up with buying Foo Fighters releases. And did you know they have a new album coming out soon?


Green Day, International Superhits!
This was not an essential purchase at all as it is a kind of best-of album. But there are three unreleased tracks, and for only 108 yen it was more than worth it. Plus one song is called J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva) which is nifty.


Dinosaur Jr., Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
And lastly is this download from Bandcamp. It is queued up in my playlist, right after Green Day. Looking forward to it immensely.

Album count 2017: 64

Deadpool

I have been looking forward to watching this for some time, so when I saw it at the DVD rental place I immediately got it out with four other films.

And it did not disappoint. Those other super-duper hero films have become bloated, over-complicated CG-fests, but this one was just plain naughty fun. Ryan Reynolds was perfect in the role, very funny.

I did slow down a bit about two-thirds of the way through, but picked up at the end. Overall though it was way better than any recent Marvel film I can think of, although I did enjoy Antman.

The sequel will be something to look forward to as well.

Date watched: June 17th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 71

Charade

Not long into watching this I realised I had seen it before, five years ago as it turns out, but it is a good film so I watched the whole thing again.

In fact, I will just repeat my previous post on this:

This is a 1963 flick with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, a kind of thriller/comedy mix. It is also very Hitchcock-ish, some nice twist and turns here and there.

There were a bunch of other familiar actors in it like George Kennedy, Walter Matthau, and James Coburn. Most of the film revolved around Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Cary doing his witty charming guy thing, and Audrey doing here witty charming thing too. They worked well together, some scenes were fun to watch as they bounced off each other in witty fashion-ness.

Well worth a watch.

The Wiki page on this is not extensive, but the part about the film instantly becoming public domain is interesting (they forgot to put “copyright” in the credits).

A jolly good watch again.

Date watched: June 16th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 70

The Dark Path

I have not managed to get back into watching films recently after a long break, so to break my drought I decided to watch this 1948 psychological thriller film noir last night.

This one is about a police psychologist played by Lee J. Cobb who is held hostage by a troubled crim played by William Holden who just busted out of the joint. It is all rather melodramatic, poorly written, and despite the good cast the acting is overdone. I cringed several times at the corny dialogue and silly situations, but mostly at the forced dramatic acting of Cobb and Holden who seemed to be trying for Oscar glory, but failing miserably.

One highlight though was recognising Ellen Corby of The Waltons fame, although her role mostly involved snivelling.

Skip this, unless you are an Ellen Corby fan.

And here is Ellen Corby with Will Geer. He was an interesting chap, read about him on Wikipedia.

Date watched: June 15th
Score:3/10
Film count 2017: 69