Category Archives: Movie score 8

Sample This

This is quite an interesting doco about the tune Apache, as covered by the Incredible Bongo Band, who consisted of a few great session musicians, brought together by a producer to supplement the soundtrack to the B-film The Thing With Two Heads (which looks INCREDIBLE, have to try and check that out). It went on to be sampled by hip hop pioneer Kool Herc a few years later. Instantly recognisable now of course. Gene Simmons narrates!

Date watched: 12th November
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 63

So many one-liners!

 

Depeche Mode: the Dark Progression

I felt like watching something random again, so this unauthorised documentary about Depeche Mode seemed like a good choice.

I am not a fan of Depeche Mode at all, and I am not into synth-pop, but this was still a fascinating look into the history of one of the biggest and most successful electronic music bands in the world (according to the documentary), and how they make their music.

There were interviews with various people involved with the band, and also with the likes of Thomas Dolby, Gary Numan, and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, all three of whom were very interesting.

As this was unauthorised there were no interviews with the band members, except from archives. This did not feel like an unauthorised documentary though, there was no dirt or tales of debauchery, rather it was a respectful look into the history and music-making of the band. The lead vocalist did have a serious drug problem in the 90’s, but this was only very briefly touched upon. The band were pretty hardcore at one time when it came to rock ‘n’ roll excess, and I was reading that even Primal Scream could not keep up with them. As for me, I am quite happily addicted to music, films, and writing about them.

I am still not a fan of Depeche Mode, but I found this to be an interesting watch. As for my preferred synth bands, I quite like Chemical Brothers and Buck Futtons.

Date watched: November 21st
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 130

Target for Today

Browsing through YouTube for something to watch I found this 1943 propaganda film made by the U.S. government about the preparations for bombing raids over East Prussia (North east Germany). Something different for a change.

Like any other propaganda film it of course did not show the human side of war, we did not see any of the suffering of those that were ultimately injured or killed in the raids, although there was some footage of injured aircrew as they were taken off the planes. It was all told in documentary style and made us feel proud of the job the airforce boys did in those days.

I was quite surprised at just how much prepration went into the bombing raids, and the amount of detail they went into to make sure everything went swimmingly. The aircrews had about four hours of briefings where they were told about the weather, where they were likely to encounter flak, what type of bombs to use and how the fuses will be set, and a whole bunch of other things.

All of the people involved in the film were actual airforce people, from the generals down to the tail gunners. A lot of it was obviously staged with some pretty wooden acting, but some of them were actually quite good.

There was plenty of footage from the bombing raids which looked pretty nasty for the people in the factories being bombed, some of the explosions were huge.

Fascinating stuff if you like a bit of WWII history.

Date watched: November 17th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 129

The Hateful Eight

At almost three hours this is quite entertaining, typically Tarantino, lots of talking then lots of violence. Cartoon violence this time around but still very sickening. Jennifer Jason Leigh steals the show, she is tops as Daisy Domergue, the prisoner which causes a lot of the kerfuffle. All the actors really look like they had fun with this.

Date watched: 25th September
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 58

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

I found this on Netflix and had to watch it as I have fond memories of their first album back in the day, quite a big thing at the time.

This documentary follows the band as they get back together after a long time of ignoring each other and prepare first for a free gig in their hometown of Manchester, then a huge gig at Heaton park with 72,000 fans. In between all this it looks back on their early days as they tell the world they are the greatest band ever, give some very awkward interviews, start fighting with their record label, then each other, finally resulting in the inevitable split and not talking to each other. Why can’t people just get along?!

It is all very well done, and is a fascinating look into the world of music-making. What struck me the most though is that all of the band members are just regular guys, the kind of British chaps you would meet at the pub. They spoke in strong Manchester accents (I couldn’t understand the drummer at all hardly) and swore and larked about like anyone else. Four David Bowies or Mick Jaggers they are not. Which makes their music all the more impressive really: four ordinary-looking blokes making some of the best music the 90’s had to offer (from their first album).

It seems though that the band have basically split again, they played a gig in Glasgow in June this year where Ian Brown said “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened”, so it looks as though there will be another documentary in 20 years or so.

This is really only a watch for Stone Roses fans.

Date watched: November 2nd
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 123

Oculus

I felt like a good scary horror last night, and after seeing a YouTube video called “Top 10 best horror movies ever 2012-2017” I thought this one would be a worthy watch.

It is a supernatural psychological horror film about a nasty antique mirror that has been terrorising people for hundreds of years. The mirror is bought by a family in suburban America and it ends up killing the parents, while the son and daughter escape. Years later, the grown-up children find the mirror and try to destroy it.

The film is quite well made, slick and atmospheric, with plenty of screechy scary music which adds to the tension. This film does not resort to the classic “jump scare” to make things scary, it instead uses slow walking ladies with long hair and white clothing, lighty-up eyes, and levitation. There is little gore or bloody bits, but plenty of dread and “things that go bump in the night” which work well.

The acting was very good for a horror, especially the two actresses that played the young girl and her future self. Karen Gillan who played the grown-up girl was in 34 episodes of Doctor Who as the Doctor’s assistant.

The ending was pretty standard, and I would have liked to know what the intentions or reasons for the mirror’s beef with mankind was, or even why the mirror was possessed. Still, it was not too shabby.

I got out another film as recommended by the YouTube video called “Mama” on DVD tonight, so I am looking forward to that. I find a good horror always gives you a positive outlook on life, and is just damn entertaining.

Date watched: October 20th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 117

Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock

I had heard of Mick Rock before, but knew very little about him, apart from the fact that he took snaps of rock ‘n’ rollers.

It turns out he took a whole lot of photos of rockers such as Syd Barret, Johnny Rotten, Debbie Harry, and Motley Crue. The attic in his house is full of boxes of photos, negatives, and all kinds of memorabilia which would be worth quite a lot.

He was very chummy with David Bowie and Lou Reed, and it was basically David Bowie that set Mick on his way to rock photographer stardom and fame and drugs. Over the years he took the photos that would become iconic album covers, you can see a list of them here.

As he was so heavily entrenched in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, and being well accepted by those he worked with, he too liked to party hardy and sniff various powders. He would go days without sleep and just wanted to party and take lots of snaps. Of course this all caught up with him, and we had dramatised vignettes of him lying on a stretcher throughout the documentary, culminating in him talking about the experience of coming very close to death. It was all quite arty and surreal at times. He is a bit of a spiritual chap, so we saw him doing yoga and special breathing exercises at times.

He played tapes of him talking with David or Lou throughout the documentary which was interesting. Both of them were very intellectual and arty chaps, and Mick seemed to be quite close to both of them. There was plenty of archive footage, a lot of it stuff I had not seen before, especially of David Bowie and Lou Reed doing their thing.

So, for a music fan this was well worth watching. He didn’t really go much into how he goes about his photography though, which I would have liked to see, although we did see him at work in a couple of photo sessions. That would be something I would like to have a go at, but I would skip the powder sniffing definitely.

Date watched: September 30th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 111

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