Unleash TACSF!

Click - > !HERE! < - to Unleash The Alphabetic Content Selector Feature!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Don't Torture a Duckling

I'll BREAK you!

Order Voodoo! from Amazon

Italian cultgiant Lucio Fulci is well above his twentieth direction by 1972, the year he decides to subject a whole country to his self-invented murder fiction Don't Torture a Duckling. Fulci blends blatant social and religious commentary with smooth, twisty detective mystery mechanics, solidifying a buildup that is decent and liable even on it's own by a rather pleasant tint of supernatural appeals and well placed - sorry 'bout that - graphic violence.

Interestingly enough, Don't Torture a Duckling is NOT the movie which earned Fulci a recognition of international scale, though it certainly imbued him with a reputation of notoriousness prior to his successful breakthrough effort Zombie - Flesh Eaters in 1979. I think one could safely say that Don't Torture a Duckling remains a way more significant work than Fulci's first undeadfeast though, the latter being little more than a now-rather massively dated zombiehoax filled and operated by evident ambitions to serve and satisfy it's era's urgent, secretive thirst for all stuff that stinks hideously and walks just to emphasize. For the record: nothing against you, zombie folks. I do love ALL visitors. Seldom are the times when prior work surpasses consecutive one(s), yet if you decide to start familiarizing yourself with the immense filmography of this great storyteller and primal giallo masta 'Lucio Fulci, then Don't Torture a Duckling is a definite, truly safe go-for that stood the trials of decades proudly, and now reigns, without a doubt, as timelessly significant.

The very first, quite pleasant and factual circumstance you are to encounter is the environment the story unravels in. Southern Italy does not have it's reputation for nothing. This historic, Prime Originator Locale of Mammas, real deal (!!) pizzas, sweet laughs and intense verbal struggles certainly has it's secretive and even dangerous appeals deeper within to it, if one is curious or fool enough to start looking for them. Fulci takes us into a southern village, a place which prefers to maintain it's vibrant, fine-art still-life mood to remain intact, and not particularly tinkered with. You see: every village has both it's traditional/generational Village Idiot and the ancient fear of the supernatural - the latter though is dark of a taboo enough to not pose as everyday subject matter to ask questions or make statements about.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com


Fear not, - more precisely, do JUST that - as the director serves you as guide for this scenery by the time child disappearances are starting to take place in it. I am most happy to inform you that all these disappearances have a tendency to reveal quite surprising, thus highly effective creative death narratives to their conclusion. By the time the killer's presence and workings are evident, Fulci introduced three or four characters of whom you could grow suspicious to commit the murders. Emphasis and the ability to spill the shadow of suspicion on all potential narrative aspects is everything in this genre of detective fiction, and surely, the Fulci Thing understands this perfectly, offering his buildup as a decent, oldschool - not a blame factor of course - Agatha Christie riddlefoam. Surely, the graphic violence and the immensely powerful scenes the director will put you in honest awe with do add a special quality to the output. Let us account on these aspects.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

I'll BREAK you!

Firstly we must admire a colorful character palette Fulci came up with, though the focal female characters of great actress Florinda Bolkan and a blatantly beautiful Barbara Bouchet do stand out immensely even of the highly acceptable portrayal-lineup rendered by the male actors. OK, I admit, eventually you can't help but be permanently baffled by the average attractiveness of the era's MAN. Fear the Moustache! Fear the Sunglazze! Fear the - oh, turns out that this IS still the Sunglazze! Fear the Fear!

Both focal female roles are soaked into a cleverly mixed moisture of sear, cautious suspicion, as Bouchet's character is an individual who is absolutely out of place and has a massively rough time to fit in socially and spiritually into the everyday life of the village. Fulci offers - let's face it, folks - highly original personal disturbances he covers Bouchet into, as the staggering beauty has thorough enough of a shallow time in the village to seductively approach every single boy (BOY, like 11-12) she encounters. Trust me, you are deeply, thoroughly mistaken if to take this aspect as an effect craver. I would pick up on that, I am almost sure, as I myself have a stupendously high dislike factor of effect craving for a narrative buildup on in-your-face sexual registers.

Simple as this: Barbara Bouchet's figure is truly bored beyond all comprehension, she is certainly aware that her seductive behavior towards very young boys is out of place, yet she fails to show interest or regret of this anymore, and finds this passtime of her a stable source to attain fun and a sear bliss from. Mind you, many actresses would end up looking hilarious if to do this, for the Bouchet Thing though: you believe. You DO NOT doubt the Bouchet Thing, trust me.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Opinion Onion Minigame!
Can you spot the Bouchet Thing on the picture above?

Though Fulci introduces a drug-addict implification to unleash some further suspicion on Bouchet if you see fit, eventually one finds himself in a hard position if to decide whether this immensely bored female or Florinda Bolkan's character is the more liable suspect. Bolkan's figure is a witch-like persona, also, one in possesion of quite the classic, Italian temper it is. That figures: what is in your mind is on your mouth - something the villagers grow hard of tolerating if the speaker is rumored to practice the arts of Black Magic (Woman?) and stuff related. The village population is in fear of ancient superstitions and possesses firm convictions in rather vague, though comfy traditions that seem quite available to establish as something to oppose for radically, incompassionately. They WILL decide the persona of the killer, they WILL serve justice and WILL end up being satisfied by an act assumed as legitly, deservedly done.

A ridiculously powerful scene is casually delivered therefore by Fulci, presenting the brutal beatup of the local witch in the cemetery her pursuers chase her into - on top of all that, Lucio is wicked 'nuff to shock you tremendously with the beautiful, sorrowful song called Quei Giorni Insieme a te performed by great singer Ornella Vanoni to support the staggering image content. When the brutal beating is administered and music reaches the peek portions both as for emotional aspect and musical buildup, Fulci, yet again, casually: switches to the witch's perspective, as she struggles to find the strength both in her now-shattered soul and brutally abused body to crawl out of the cemetery. Notice the massive, cunning symbolism here. You feel through the witch's inner and physical pain thoroughly, and it is not hard to realize that Fulci's intention is to ask the witch and you whether it is worth trying to move on, to recover, or it is better (safer?) and more peaceful to die with the spark of human dignity still remaining in you by choosing to give out your Earthy existence in the quite appropriate place to do so? Girls, boys: extremely powerful sequence. Extremely powerful.

Don't Torture a Duckling eventually arrives to a clever field of narrative intersections with quite some liable twitspoints introduced and smartly elaborated upon. You will definitely have an enjoyable time trying to guess the killer's identity, and it is safe to say that Fulci admirably submitted to the Prime Rule of Detective Fiction and still he is able to surprise you by the most improbable, nevertheless: still the most effective conclusion by the end. Oh, we should account on the Prime Rule of Detective Fiction though. This, if I am not mistaken, is closely related to establisher and supreme master of the genre Agatha Christie, and the rule itself tells that no murder mystery should hide clues away from the reader/viewer that are essential to solve the riddle.

Don't Torture a Duckling naturally devotes a massive amount of it's playtime to the dialog sequences taking place between detectives and inspectors, though the acting quality of the male personificators are on the acceptable levels at best, the subject matters they are quite sanely and rationally debating on safely saves the buildup miles away from being tiresome - credit goes for Fulci's sane, conscious dialog writing. As for the acting: he is not to blame, in my opinion. These were the standards by the era, yet it is still amazing how very easy is to smile, even laugh at how seriously males are taking themselves for, while the females in the movie - sure, especially Barbara Bouchet - are shining superbright/superfresh on canvas compared to the male characters. Let us say: male sidekicks. Children do render a very good performance, as well.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

The movie develops via an image language that remained surprisingly fresh even to this here recent days, main reasons for this are the timeless nature of the environment that the narrative structure takes place in, and Fulci's factual awareness of this nature. Even the modern interiors
are looking quite OK, thus the only thing to entertain you with a somewhat stale quality to it is the general behavior and temper of the male characters.

Don't Torture a Duckling is a true classic worth cultivating - a very efficient way to start just that would be to take an intent inspection of it. Otherwise Florinda Bolkan just might visit you in a rather disturbing dream, giving you the promise she is quite fond of giving.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

BREAK you!

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com


If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ex Drummer

Belgian Bluff Blast

Utilizing a Herman Brusselmans book by the title Ex Drummer, Belgian director Koen Mortimer has made a stupendous motion picture debut - only problem we have to face is that he made all that in some ambiguous parallel universe, unknown to our species as of today. I am sort of aware how dangerous it is to be NOT blown away by a flick which profoundly renders the negative borderfields of any given civilized society, as the act of presenting zombie-existences via people pissing into sinks and practically watching their kid die while fighting each other immediately delivers the utterly false outlines of a highly accurate and honest socio criticism - yet a filmmaker with such shallow of an agenda made nothing but declared his characters to be little more than semi-animals, also he made a clear, though unspoken statement on how he anticipates the explicit showoff of superstale existences to be an attraction of ruthless convince power and originality - and and endless source of quality jokes to entertain you with, too. Ex Drummer is satisfied with all that nevertheless, even better: it lives up to these bizarre appeals in a coherent, convincing manner.

Let us see what exactly this recent movie Ex Drummer has in store for it's spector. You have some massive smoker dude. A writer. He is highly original, because he has Modern Talking hairstyle and talks about massively personal stuff all the time as you would have asked for it, though you did not. You have a small party of thee handicapped men. They are looking for forming their very own music band upon the notion of how cool it would be to establish a group composed of handicapped people. The idea is cool, indeed - exploitation of it's merits are abruptly accomplished though, victimizing the defendable creative output to show off senseless inner degenerations as the aforementioned handicaps. Interestingly however, these conscious decisions to miss out on seemingly legit plot elements just to substitute them with hilarious, rampant nonsense does move the piece unto unusual, though not quite yet solid fields.

Picture this nutfeast: one of the handicapped men beats up women brutally to release some supersick frustration which's origin you don't want to be aware of, the other one is deaf, and the third have trouble moving his upper (lower?) lip.

Cool design.

Now, they seek out the writer dude to ask him to join their band as drummer, and the penspinner agrees to do that - he is the one who shares his story - and pretty much his life [sex scenes are of course included and rather graphically presented] - with you concerning his career with the highly ambitious formation.

Personally I have never been to Belgium before, but it is interesting to see that zombie people who stuck unto the zombie "lifeform" are leading a similarly stale life even at such a nice and rich place. It all depends how you decide to relate to the movie's content, as it is nothing less or nothing more than precise renditions of everyday moments/conflicts of the no-life of these individuals. The usual, lower-section humor appeals are more than ready to invite you to stick around and have your highly anticipated laughs at the somewhat shallow peek moments Ex Drummer manages to cough into your face. I'll give you an actual example of the delicacies going on here, please skip this section to the consecutive one if to remain eager to confront all laughters via their profound, native forms. So. One of the handicapped men have a temporal limb problem, as sometimes he has difficulty to arrange his forearm to form a straight line with his upper arm and elbow. As it quickly turns out, this is a result of a psychosomatic trauma he suffered, as his mom happened to open the door upon him when he was close to ejaculation, masturbating like: maaad. Ahhhahahah. Ohhhohohoh. This is so humane, so cute, and so honest. I hope to see loads of and loads of further narrative punchlines like this, after all, not many seen or heard Woody Alan, the guy who told way more of this kind of jokes than ever was worth telling or laughing at.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Ex Drummer at least takes itself seriously at it's core, yet never fails to crawe evidently for these almost-humorous appeals to give tested method of revealing sub-zero humane existences driven by sub-zero ambitions away. You are anticipated to quickly and thoroughly get convinced of what a bombastic, honest, and rampant piece of art you have chance to witness, yet it's most significant appeal remains it's sheer, persistent ignorance towards the viewer. A trait that is strong enough to leave an impression in you, yet it would gain true power and evidently acceptable form with a more decent narrative buildup to support this unusual directional choice.

In fact, as it was hinted at, graphic, in my opinion even highly redundant violence against some poor chick with exquisite legs is shown hastily to make a statement on how Ex Drummer does not give a dime with two lost holes in it for your cautious, comfy expectations or personal taste,

though personal tastes are the most boring entities in this here world, on this, you should trust me

So this flick must have that badass appeal to it, no? Definitely. It has the badass appeal to it. But it has no clue about what to do with it just yet. This here is a problem.

The narrative buildup introduces a very slight, cautious attempt to render serious social commentary at times, yet the main form and method the fabric develops in tends to boil down to offer you jokes with hastily drawn drama disguises on them, assuming that the almost hopeless emotional/intellectual states the characters are suffering from will guarantee your most splendid enjoyment of a film wisely chosen, and a time well spent. Ex Drummer is the movie which tries to be bombastic via the immense self neglect and ignorance it's characters are living with and by, yet depicts and thoroughly delivers all these strange appeals without any relevant message present to worth deciphering, thus ignorance and self neglect are not the driving factors here, but the main attractions you are to laugh out loudly at. Don't fall in for the end sequence, either. That is not creativity, rampant. That is but ignorance, rampant. And also that is why Ex Drummer weights in as a defendable debut effort in the long run, as not many motion picture dares to show ignorance rampant, regardless that such a thing is a definite SOMEthing to behold.

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Steve Vai - Sound Theories Vol. I. & II.

Order Symphonic Shredfeast! from Amazon
Epic / Red Ink, 2007

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

There are many guitar players out there who can set the fretboard on fire, and very few who can do whatever they please with the instrument. Steve Vai is one of these very few, no doubt, a musician in possession of a quite unique musical language and as versatile of a technical readyness as you have ever seen. Vai learned the ropes beside Frank Zappa where he had the exquisite chance to transcribe ridiculously complex music, had a massive period as White Snake's Primal Fretburna', and he leads a significant solo career since 1984, as well.

Be sure to check out his amazingly frantic composition called Massacre on his solo release, Flex-Able Leftovers. That muzax is: maaad, mad shit, if you don't mind me saying so, also it clearly reveals how this masterful player has a totally rampant and cunning ability to utilize musical notes to create patterns, sequences and moods you never heard or experienced before. Mind you, all this radical, welcomed mockery of musical notes is 24 years old now, and still it is one of the most relevant testaments of what special moods music can summon and soak you into.

I think it is safe to say that Steve Vai looks and handles his guitars as hollow bodies, ready to be possessed by an ever-increasing range of "musical personalities." He is more of a personificator to rely on musical channels than a "usual" player, therefore. He is the first and probably the only one to date whom you heard imitate human speech masterfully with a guitar - a nice glimpse into how welcomely radical and versatile his personal vision of music is.

Funny thing is: by a period taking place between the year 2004 and 2005, Vai took some serious guitars, his band, and the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra into a massive audience hall and recorded stuff 'nuff to fill a double CD release and even a DVD to document the event visually. Released in the summer of 2007, you can't possibly have any other answer reaction to Sound Theories than turning your volume valve all the way to the right, baby.

Some funny quote from Vai:

"If you can't admire what you can do, how could you expect others to do that?"

A legit opinion, no? Classical musicians are absolutely at the top of the musical game, main reason for this being their inevitably superdelicate relation to their instruments. On a violin or a cello, you do not have your nice and cozy frets to generate the note your are looking for, they are doing this by the naked ear, and they also have the natural tendency to play the score as but devoted summoners of music, exhibiting no intention to shine personally. Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Neoclassical Nuclear Stringgrinder had the chance to work with a symphonic orchestra, as well - when asked about how hard or easy it was to co-operate with classical musicians, he stated this:

"It could not be more rewarding or easier. Classical musicians do not give you all that tiresome mannerisms, they simply play what is written in the score."

As we accounted on, Sound Theories is a double release, the first disc called Aching Hunger introduces "classic" Vai compositions for Vai and Orchestra, and a couple of fresh pieces are present on the release, too. The second disc, Shadows and Sparks features the Orchestra as they interpret scores written and arranged especially for a symphonic layout by Steve.

Wow. They start out on the first disc with Kill the Guy with the Ball, one of the most vivid stuff from Vai to date, now presented with a hilarious intro sequence to deliver a quite convincing basic statement that both a Symphonic Ear Assault Team and a very haughty guitar is present to blow you away quite hastily. Kill the Guy with the Ball is an intense, unique run with a very funny, I dare say this: intentionally silly, rampant, unruly melodic core to it's mood, a buildup which communicates itself in a highly dramatical fashion, yet what it communicates eventually registers as more cute and funny than intimidating - a special sensation you find yourself frequently greeted by when listening to Vai's music. He likes to make FUN of music, and once one can accomplish this, then one should be regarded as Master of this language, no doubt.

The God Eaters is a very cool song, since a song called The God Eaters couldn't be any less than cool even if to feature no sounds whatsoever. That it does, though - a chance to Stare Into The Void we are offered with here, an occasion we will have more thorough of later. An intersection that seems a little out of place at the start of the record, but anyway - who would antagonize The God Eaters, yes?

The Murder Prologue exhibits a funny Spaghetti Western affliction for that sixty seconds it is running for, making a rather comfy place for the follow-up Science Fiction Theme Score: The Murder.

As we were rather delicately hinting at, The Murder is a massively cinematic buildup, could easily be a theme song for a classic sci-fi flick like Total Recall or Terminator. Or any of Arnold's earlier stuff where he plays badass dude in a badass future. The Running Man comes to my mind as well. A massive, mid-tempo melody dominates this piece, revealed with powerful brass instruments and a rhythm section ready to show all the wonderful appeals of that simple 4/4 humanity never can get quite enough of. AC/DC huh? Amazing how many songs one could write based on the exact three power chords, no? As a cool science fiction musical statement about a world wiling to do anything for reliable profit, The Murder also demonstrates Vai's massive talent to summon cinematic drama on audible registers, an aspect we will have chance to thoroughly witness on the second disc.

Gentle Ways is no joke. Gentle Ways is no joke at all, chicks0rZ and dudes0rZ. Probably one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard, mind you, I am not particularly fond of music that has no other aspiration than being beautiful. Gentle Ways though: is immensely beautiful, no doubt. My impression when hearing this piece is of a newly born planet breathing for the first time - just for the record, and just to shock you. The definite choice if you want to seduce someone and have absolutely no intention getting caught doing it. Five onions for the Steve Vai Thing just for this song Gentle Ways alone.

Answers is a classical composition of Vai, delivering you a tribal tint of musical warfare you could be familiar of from the End Sequences of the Star Wars movies. The main theme has an acceptable pull to it though, especially when there is a casual Symphonic Orchestra present to back up Vai's intent guitar statement. Following the negotiation of the main theme, you have a crazy-ass solo and a nice, though brief modal switch-around to wrap this rendition of Answers up. Not a bad effort, but I still tend to regard this piece more as the Ultimate Anime Theme Song than a musical statement you must be eternally aware of.

I'm Becoming is tiny, is cute, is pleasant, is the Little Guitar Magic Trick you don't want to miss out if to put your audience to honest awe.

Salamanders in the Sun is a significant trademark effort of Vai, a song which hosted a nice, romantic cinema-appeal even in it's original form, now growing even more evident via renditions taking place in high-end acoustic dimensions. The buildup offers place for nice soloistic strolls, periods in which the main theme choses to withdraw, inviting the entire band to join in later on. Wise compositional decisions become clear as Vai and the Orchestra do emphasize different parts of the focal theme, and this is a quite eventful composition - easy to take elegant and cunning picks - so that, they do.

Of the song Liberty, I am not a particular fan. This is some guitar statement that seems a bit of an effect-crawer for me, at least I failed to shed tears upon it for the time being. Maybe I ought to have shut and endangered of starvation, THEN I would learn to appreciate Liberty. That time is yet to come, sorry - as even Vai would regard Liberty as a fill-in statement, he wraps this brief pathos-excuse up in less than two minutes, giving you just 'nuff time to soak those tears into your handkerchief prior the Attitude Song is to ruthlessly, and rather welcomely reveal.

As a trademark effort of Steve, and a truly unique rhythmic/melodic delivery to enrich the general language of music, you can't ever grow bored of the Attitude Song. Listen how the crowd reacts when realizing the opening vibes of this trademark statement. Rampant, haughty, playful and virtuous, this piece offers precise, elegant glimpses of pretty much all musical aspects Steve is keen to rely on if to form building blocks he is ready to construct music with. This rendition is highly accurate to the very complex original, a clear statement how top notch classical musicians are, indeed.

For the Love of God is yet another of Vai's very few compositions that seem to have no noticeable effects on me whatsoever. I fail to identify immense originality and convince power in this piece, yet it is never anything less than these qualities when I am to check the Vai Thing out.

On the second disk, the installment to feature Steve's orchestral compositions a somewhat "tribal" musical appeal unravels and dominates the early segment of the program time. Let me elaborate: remember the mood of the music the Evoks are playing at the very end of Return of the Jedi? The composition Shadows and... feels quite similar to that mood, saved for a nice, melancholic, though rather brief duet sequence of a violin and a cello. Later in this composition, Vai even offers a glimpse of the middle east, and blends it with the musical language of detective fiction theme scores - a supercool, yet quite brief moment, as well.

Sparks starts off with a gentle violin monologue and pleasantly welcomes the supportive string section to join in for time to time, spreading focal statements of the composition unto a more profound, richer audible field. Let ourselves not to misinterpret Vai's intentions here, though: if he would chose the supportive instruments to remain constant, then our ability to greet them with pleasure would vanish, as we would have lose the chance altogether to welcome their revelation and activity. This here fluent composition arrives to a focal dimension of interesting timbers and a carefully selected note palette later on, offering you a clever fairy tale mood, as a party of adventurers would venture into uncharted territory, even into a Dragon's cave or into some similar matter. Higly cinematic and highly effective stuff, even better: Vai choses to simplify his statement for brief periods of time, rendering huge, delightful bursts of pathos, just to throw that away as well and reveal more devoted attention to the solo violin again. All Hells break loose later on though, no instrument is left inactive in the climax portion as our hypothetical Dragon is to emerge and claim some Phat Adventurer Asses for itself, I guess. Vai concludes the piece with a truly epic, beautiful ending sequence that comes out of nowhere, remains for the exact period of time you could highly appreciate it for, then the buildup goes back for the tribal affair - both Vai and the Evoks through him made a statement though, no doubt.

Frangelica PT. I. starts out as yet another fluent fairy tale stroll-around, later enriching the modal buildup with the introduction of a more wide array of musical flavors, even we have a glimpse of "familiy science fiction" - if there is such a genre at all. I think there is - remember the 1979 flick The Black Hole? Haha! Moreover: Hoho! The onion may decide to scrutinize that piece of cultural retina stigma later on - so take heed, and take a rather careful of that. Frangelica PT. I. is a discursive demonstration on how skillfully Vai establishes and elaborates in different musical atmospheres, yet he exhibits no particular intention to stick around in any of them for a thorough sightseeing.

Frangelica PT. II. is a definite peek moment of the release - a highly soloistic upper structure entertains your ears and conforms nicely to a stable rhythm section, a fluent flow of gentle ideas, introducing well placed gateways between the various solo statements to follow up - and they do follow up, and maintain their clear, keen relation to the stable fluctuation offered in the background. Following a rather OK piano solo, the Vai Thing emerges to deliver a solo atop the rhythmic structure, our welcomed result is a rather pleasant revelation of sane free jazz traditions - oximoron there? - out of a musical space that is very pleasant to spend time in. Oh, for the John Coltrane fans: some decent Saxophone will make a statement here, as well - let alone the Oboe, closing this composition atop caressing ambient synths - a stable conclusion period to wrap up one of the most relevant compositions of the release.

Helios and Vesta is a thorough stare Into The Void, more precisely:

Into Za Bigazzz Voidzzz, Brada'!

as Vai choses not to give any kind of relation to you this time around, except for the improbable runs and howls of sounds approaching your ears in elusive patterns. You just imagined - as Vai later decides to introduce you to a quite interesting musical place, where rules are though did not change. You have notes with identical significance to them approaching your ear, but occasionally
consorting with supportive background elements to offer the impression of a compositional statement ready to manifest. Indeed, later a composition unravels and elaborates at the verges of a funny retro-sci-fi feeling, an easy going stroll around to leave these interesting fields behind for now.

The concluding piece is Bledsoe Bluvd., a famous early composition of Vai, which's original you can hear on his solo release, Flex-Able Leftovers. (If you do decide to put it into a playback device, that is.) This is some funny song, truly. I am not exactly sure if it depicts the sensation of being utterly, hopelessly drunk and having no will left to deny it anymore, or being bored beyond all comprehension - nevertheless it remains a significant musical piece you can't avoid to relate to one way or another, as the tonal content and the mood it delivers both pose a very unique musical sensation, forming on the simple notion how the piece feels no embarrassment at all of how utterly silly and irrelevant it seems to be - a mockery of accusing something that seems silly with the accusation of sillyness it is. Now it all makes perfect sense though, as this sentence made as much sense as Bledsoe Bluvd. probably has aspiration to make any, and this is why this song is kind of: cool.

The orchestral rendition of the piece offers some extra sequences not present in the original version, these do concern intentionl, temporal cacophony and nice solo runs, interchanging each other as Vai seen it fit.At the middle portion we arrive at a fluent, casual piano monologue, then Vai enriches this here incarnation of his former effort with a superbrief guitar solo and makes place to yet another intersection to connect back to the main theme. The part where women go like: "Whooo!" and "Laaa! La! La! Laaa! La! La! La! Laaaa!" is still classic though, and still is included.

Steve Vai's Sound Theory is an easy recommendation both for the manic guitar freak and for possessors of ears ready and keen to encounter nice surprises, also it accounts Vai's considerable talent and ability to sew cinematic music, as these recent compositions of him arranged for orchestra are originating from places that are full of images absolutely worth seeing.

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Bucket List

No Such Turn As Wrong

Order a Viewtiful Friendship! from Amazon

The only way to captivate an audience's blind attention more profoundly than introducing an actor-giant is: introduce TWO of them, and see if anyone can resist. While - usually successful - attempts to blow us away via the ruthless utilization of character pairs are almost as old as motion picture itself, - Laurel and Hardy, Kommissar Derrick, Tango & Cash, K.I.T.T. and The Hoff!, Arnold and Danny, you name it - writer Justin Zackham comes up with a story that is absolutely tailor made for the archetype-characters of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

The most notable aspect of this tale and the fluent movie output Rob Reiner directed upon it is the sheer simplicity the buildup develops with - though sometimes a story needs quite immense of a startup boost to unravel itself with such elegant ease and coherency. How about the start The Bucket List introduces? Both characters suffer from terminal illness, and have but months back from their lives. They decide to compose a list of all the things they are most longing for, and sure, they make a serious run for them prior to death's imminent arrival.

The Bucket List is a crystal clear movie, one which fortunately does not pose interest towards judging/reforming inner realities, rather it wisely reckons it's two main characters strong and relevant enough to deliver subtle, yet quite significant spiritual outputs via the dialogs the protagonists are having. Worry not though, as the narratively spoken words by Freeman's character are setting the score precisely in place in case you would have any doubts at any given time about the correct/intended interpretation. I did not mention this latter notion to imply that the movie would have a persistent urge to get it's messages through, those personal conclusions made by Freeman's figure do add to the content, enriching the result further via the sane, very mature stances Morgan seeks and eventually finds while death's eyes are set upon him superclosely.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

It would be not correct to regard The Bucket List as "just a serious movie", though - while regarding it as just the "hilarious comedy" it similarly is - would be even bigger of a flaw. Writer, director, actors all recognized the endless stream of character comedy ready to get utilized here, thus it is used thoroughly, giving us exceptionally well placed moments and dialogs you would anticipate from the "grouchy-type" Nicholson and a calmer, but very wise and highly analytical Freeman. Both actors have the liberty to render and unleash the natural emotional channels and intellectual driving factors they are operating on, I think it is safe to say that you are not witnessing two "roles" dealing with imminent death, you indeed witness Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson dealing with it. Not many persons have the stupendous, natural canvas presence enough to make noticeable efforts at acting a redundant action to perform, yet these two actors are such, without a doubt. They shine brilliantly in The Bucket List, and do so through the natural, familiar archetype forms we recognize and massively appreciate them of.

The friendship developing between them is very easy to relate to, as initially they are as far away from each other as you could possibly conceive, - Freeman is terminally ill, and ends up in Nicholson's OWN hospital, an institution in which the proprietor has to share his room with ANOTHER patient, bah!, what NONSENSE! - yet that bizarre bond of mutual shadow of death they are standing in serves them with an immediate urge to account on every aspect of existence they can and willing to think of - soon standing welcomely free and deprived of the walls of taboo usually surrounding these kinds of lamentations. They arrive at a point where they grow quite eager to hear out the other man's output on the subject, a subject only someone who is in death's closest vicinity is entitled to have a truly legit, accountable opinion on. Through the execution of the listed actions they are gradually opening up, developing a more sophisticated/mature stance towards death as their fresh stances have the elements of the other man's way of looking at life and stuff related, too.

Of course both characters are having their most significant, though seemingly superfragile wishes waiting to be fulfilled, cautious, slippery aspirations to generate clever, layered conflicts between the two men in the climax portion of the buildup - though whether these wishes could be fulfilled should remain the answer one needs to check The Bucket List out for. One will find the answer in that bucket.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com
- Having a good time??
- Kinna. That shape is in me view though.

A very straightforward, solid narrative buildup is established and fluently presented in The Bucket List, making it an effort not worth missing out on. Rob Reiner's latest delivery is a relatively rare kind of addition to present day motion picture, mixing the elements of quality character comedy with legit, serious spiritual drama. The best aspect of the flick remains it's uncompromised approach of taking both directions it relies on quite seriously, thus it succeeds considerably at unleashing top notch content and efficiency on you via both channels.

Not many would possibly think that a motion picture with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in it could go sour - and it could not, indeed. Rather it chose to turn out extrasweet, making it the easiest, safest recommendation to date in this year. A very pleasant surprise to the early segment of 2008 - check it, and remember it.

ONE thing is STILL bugging me, though:

Listen to Morgan Freeman's narrative thoughts.
Heck, am I the only one to think it is the not-in-helmet-mode
Darth Vader speaking when Morgan Freeman is speaking?

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Order a Psychotic! from Amazon

Alexandre Aja is a definite talent you want to look out for when it comes to horrors, and frankly, the onion which guides and remains is always ready to inspect both the worst and the best that horror has to offer. Aja gained immediate, well deserved recognition by his quite solid slasher effort Haute Tension back in 2003, while his screenplay of a 2006 remake for the ancient horror classic The Hills Have Eyes produced a quite decent, inventive output, as well.

Now he teams up with friend/actor Franck Khalfoun to offer a co-op screenplay, while responsibilities of the direction are fully relying on the aforementioned personificator, now making his debut as a director. Featuring but two focal characters to draw the stable outlines of a hunter-hunted traumarun, P2 reveals an intact, in-your-face psychodrama driven by very clear understanding of what this style of storytelling might operate supersmoothly, efficiently of.

Rachel Nichols is your heroine, and Christmas Eve is your mood setting. A broken car engine is Rachel's ticket to Hell, and the security guard of the parking lot is the Gatekeeper, more than ready to let the girl through. Wes Bentley, personificator of Tom, the security guard has a relative resemblance to great actor Joaquin Phoenix in my opinion, especially when they are offering the highly frustrated, yet profoundly dangerous personas that most actors either fail miserably at revealing, or they end up being quite convincing at that. You see, this is a borderline game, haha!

Our synopsis is quite straightforward: it is but a matter of fifteen minutes until we could safely conclude that Tom has developed textbook borderline personality disorder while killing the time in his security station without human contact. On this here Christmas Eve, he probably realizes
that he couldn't bear the stale loneliness the parking lot suffocates him with - thus he quickly decides to make an effective captive of Angela, - Rachel Nichols - satisfying consensus social/moral/respect values as it would be totally acceptable in spite of his own now-uncontrollable urge to share his inner self with another.

I got bad news and I got worse news though, unfortunately. The bad news is that by the time in question, Tom's personality is deformed. The worse news is: Tom's personality is like: maaaassively deformed, trust me. He is clearly beyond the capacity to get a glimpse on how his actions are influencing reality in radically negative directions. He is someone who is extremely hard, more precisely: almost impossible to relate to when showing his True, sorrowfully, dangerously damaged self.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Such a damaged inner reality probably should be treated and approached by extremely cautious measures, as one can never be sure what rules/factors it is inventing to operate itself by. Wes Bentley offers this inner conflict masterfully in the flick: Tom knows how to make people believe he is sober, sane and harmless, he can play the game, he can pretend - more precisely: he COULD play the game and COULD pretend. Not anymore. Not when the girl he is so painfully attracted to is so close to him. He couldn't bear knowing she has a good time elsewhere and he is not around to share in it.

someone who you so painfully like, having all fun with other at night

Stakes therefore are rising, as this here, probably quite psychotic train of thought develops in the man: he demands the intimacy he is longing for. He does utilize passive violence to attach the girl to himself, to force her to interact with him - such is the thirst of Tom for human contact. Angela of course quickly realizes that the man is beyond accountability and poses radical danger, thus a hunter-hunted game unfolds the moment the girl is capable to make a run for it, just to end up in captivity again.

The factual/emotional reactions of Tom towards Angela's persistent escape attempts are imbuing the security guard with even more frightening traits. "I would never hurt you. You know I won't hurt you. Could you just trust me, please? Let's be friends, OK?" Stuff to offer you the shivers, no doubt, as there are quite sanely - hah! - projected emotional layers are at sorrowful, sinister workings here. The utilization and narrative presentation of noted behavior patterns closely related to borderline personality disorder serves the flick extremely well, indeed. Tom is very good at victimizing himself, provoking emotional conflicts just to create an excuse and occasion later to thoroughly spill his feelings on the other, and/or to offer his most sincere apology. And then again. And the again. I hope I am not offending anyone who suffers from the disease in real life - my point is simply this: P2 seems to rely heavily on the symptoms of borderline personality disorder, and takes the legit narrative liberty to show them through a magnifying glass, I'd say.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Therefore Tom's character is a much more deep, damaged spiritual entity than your usual slasher-prowler. I think it is safe to say that the convincing acting performance of Bentley and the remnants of the sanity his character is yet able to witness just to degrade further all deliver a baddie figurine that sticks out of the recent horror mainstream quite evidently, quite considerably.

Questions arise on how this nice psychodrama outline is capable to unfold into a hunter-hunted horror flick you could easily enjoy yourself with, and, fortunately, the buildup stands all trials keenly and steadily. P2 introduces quite a few memorable peek sequences and creative deaths - man, I LUVD the Chaired Molester vs Car and Wall matchup -, and does an inventive job of utilizing the mere environment to summon and offer different flavors of suspense creation. I tend to think that no hollow moments or redundant vibrations are present in this here flick - there is a lot to sink your teeth into if you are to grab a nice, intact, intense piece of popular horror to your belly, which I would urge you to with the eager recommendation of this stable, fresh effort.

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


a Fakeumentary Antiexcellence

[REC] poses at least two significant questions towards one prepared to scratch one's face off via soaking into the superblunt shallowness this here Ruthless Blaming of All Horrors delivers. 1. How low exactly a director may assume the audience's awareness levels to be operating on? 2. Will someone give back that 70 minutes for one who wasted those innocent moments on this flick? While the first question needs to be precisely elaborated on, for the second, we shall acknowledge the permanent loss of those 70 minutes. Yet those are 70 minutes you won't ever forget - whether you are willing to forgive for the director, remains a decision to be made by you.

Spanish filmmaker Jaume Balagueró harasses the integrity of the consensus reality grid with a fakeumentary to exhibit essential influences from the zombie genre, also it poses evident interest to claim the meritorious elements of The Blair Witch Project, the horror fakeumentary that is yet to be surpassed. Though many claim [REC] to be a defendable, even an effective (hick!) effort, I am almost entirely sure that they are simply deceived by the handy cam feature of the film, a nature in desperation to unleash a tremendously convincing effect on you, but demonstrates a very shallow tool set, making it quite hard to keenly accept this clumsy invitation to an even more clumsier horrorrun.

We have our cameraman and a reporter chick in front of the recording hardware, a girl whose acting quickly becomes very very hard to appreciate, so desperately she is trying to be the focal point of attention - steadily, convincingly failing masterfully, in my opinion. They are doing a report on the everyday life of the local Firefighter department. We have a brief introduction sequence and enough time to account on the general mood of the building, spiced up by the persistent camera crawing of the reporter girl, then a fire quickly arises in the vicinity, thus the squad and the reporters are on their way to handle and document the situation.

Apparently, the affected building hosts some kind of a viral infection, an old lady upstairs goes like: mad, zombifies hastily, and attacks a fireman. Then the main narrative element of [REC] may finally reveal itself for the very first time, just to stick around for pretty much all the remaining period. This element is: shouting, social mayhem, simulated chaos-mediocrity. EVERY SINGLE person is engaged in intense verbal warfare with some other person, this is the practical substitute Balagueró had to rely on for - presumably - not having anything more to say in the genre than zombies are mean monzthaz and they are out for a major chunk of our phat azzezz.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com
-How do I know she is NOT one of THEM??
-Dude. You SEE she ISN'T.

As for storytelling considerations, the director utilizes the all-time-classical, still defendable and highly effective method of creating a lockdown situation, where all participants are to confront the zombies they are stuck together with in the building, as the outskirts of the place is even more heavily infected than the interior portions. So, shouting each other's face off is a highly mature method to handle a crysis situation like this, no doubt.

Of course you can't make out a single word of what the shouting is about as there are ten-fifteen of shouting people present, and surely they are doing their silly screamaround at the same time - not that I would assume that their words pose any relevance beyond the fact that they attempt to render chaos and desperation evident. Do not think that this aforementioned element is but a supportive decision in [REC]. No. This is a BIG no, even a no-no. You WILL spend most of the time watching people shouting the hair out of each other's nose, then someone who got bite: turns to a zombie, too! Even worse: they even find the merits to get surprised about this on consecutive occasions, what a laugh.

Further, blatant flaws in storytelling are abruptly delivered in spite of extremely cheap scares, like a sequence where a squad of volunteers decide to check out the upper portions of the building, and they find a little girl. Amazingly, all firefighters seem to have immense memory problems and they approach the little girl as if the site would have nothing to do with a lethal viral infection, and they are most surprised when the little girl bites off the leader's face. I am still mad at myself for failing to get shocked considerably by that particular scene, also I apologize if I spoiled your enjoyment for this amazingly surprise-packed sequence.

[REC] offers almost no peek moments whatsoever, and when it does, their effectiveness is dimmed already by the prior sequences of the ever-present shout-out marathons. I ask you this: how long you think you could maintain interest and a relation to shouting people when they truly do not do a single other thing than - shouting? This sounds superblunt even in written form, and I guarantee you will have an immensely shallow period of time watching it in a "narrative" form.

Fear is constant tension without an evident element to ease it up or to safely rely on, yet the most horrifying aspect of [REC] remains it's eternal cluelessness about how to summon this delicate, unpleasant sensation - the sensation we were wished for here, and got but a profoundly cheap, strengthless mockery of it.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com
- WHAT?? "Ease up??"
- Naaah! Pizza! PIZZA!

Just for the [REC]ord:
I am speechless

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lost Your Heart to a Starship Trooper?

Opinion Onion Minigame!
Can you spot the highly delicate armpit hair?

Read more!

Monday, February 18, 2008

EliteXC Strikeforce Street Certified review

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com


Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.

This here is a review of the EliteXC event EliteXC Strikefoce Street Certified, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

EliteXC - the XC stuff stands for "Extreme Combat" - is quite recent of an mma organization, and seems to pose as a considerable partner/rival to the prime originator of all mma madness, the UFC. This here fresh addition of proving ground mayhem the EliteXC brings you unleashes it's offerings via top notch presentation appeals and a staggeringly shallow ring announcer, but, apart from this latter discomfiture, you will have a hard time resisting to follow the rankings and events taking place in the UFC and the EliteXC organizations from now on, respectively.

The latest event, Strikeforce Street Certified features a heavyweight collision between two street-hardened juggernauts, namely David "Tank" Abbot and Kimbo Slice. Oh yeah, baby. THAT Kimbo Slice you watched rip people apart on YouTube, now DIDN'T you? We had plenty of chance to hear about Tank Abbot before, as he is one of the most ancient faces of mma, ironically though, he cares little about the traditions and styles of mixed martial arts, he prefers to smash the opposition via his extremely thick, massive physique and the nuclear bombs he can regard and trust as his fists. Though many claim Abbot being over his prime period, Tank still loves a good fight, especially if he takes part in it - his collision with prior internet phenomena, now professional level mma fighter Kimbo is a lineup to answer questions about Slice's future prospects, also it is Tank's big chance to emerge triumphant over a force not many could stop to this day - and no one could since Kimbo competes on professional level. It is clear that the Slice dude takes this business very seriously, as he is training with mma Legend Bass Rutten, and even Tank put the effort into serious training prior to this match, though this is not something he was necessarily notorious of to this day.

James Thompson vs Brett Rogers

A heavyweight confrontation to start off the night, taking place between a British veteran who have seen and been through much already, even holds wins over Dan Severn and Don Fry, two of the most notable faces of earlier days of the UFC. I must say I was amazed how determined and rampant Thompson looked when the horrific ring speaker of the EliteXC announced his presence.

(Side note: I mean the presence of James "The Colossus" Thompson, it is not like the announcer announced the announcer's presence, yes?)

The little gesture The Colossus offers for the crowd prior to the beginning of the bout is what mma is all about, truly no matter if you get knocked out in a short while IF and WHEN you had the determination and self confidence to exhibit such an evident conviction in your skills and ability to ruthlessly deconstruct.

Though The Colossus's gesture to greet the audience and the opponent remains utterly amazing, he quickly, thoroughly, and quite impressively gets knocked out by Brett Rogers, a victor solidifying both his reputation and his record as being of promising prospects and nothing but wins to hold to this day. Rogers looked quite swift and cunning for his thick, massive composure, and made a definite statement about his readyness to move higher up the rankings. A warrior we want to see again, yet time hopefully arrives when The Colossus will exhibit a tremendous action sequence to support his inner determination, which is perfect and quite impressive already.

Edson Berto vs Eve Edwards

A very good ground gamer in the phenomena of Edson Berto is to take on veteran warrior Eve Edwards, a fervent individual with a quite colorful list of organizations he fought for. A cautious, rather brief feeling out process takes place just to being substituted by intense assaults, yet, though they are nicely utilized, not many deliver considerable punishment. When the two do decide to grapple for a bit, Edwards executes a quite unorthodox flying knee you or Berto could never see coming - an attack capable to wrap this confrontation up in the first round, and a very memorable that one is, redefining, widening the concept of this attack form considerably.

Kyle Noke vs Scott Smith

Australian mma promise Kyle Noke holds quite fruity of a professional history, a record worth measuring for a UFC veteran like Scott Smith, a person who had his ups and downs and now competes in the rankings of the EliteXC. An evenly paced first round unravels in which Kyle Noke exploits his significant reach advantage sanely and cunningly, yet it is but the seventh second of the consecutive round when Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith connects with a right hand of instant knockout power. The follow-up hit on the grounded opponent is probably a waste of rather good suffering, as Noke evidently resist the attack, taking a brief, peaceful stroll on the astral plane. Scott Smith has the tendency to offer memorable moments in his matches, also his attitude in the post-fight interview was very classy and respectable. He stated he though that the match might go for Kyle, seeing how smartly the Australian forms a clear advantage of his wider threat zone. Smith offers his opinion on how the match boiled down to his ability to penetrate through Noke's guard for a brief moment he could deliver stopping power from, stating though that he very well might have lost if Kyle's defense would be good enough to keep him off the danger zone.

Antonio Silva vs Ricco Rodriguez

As former K1 fighter and a warrior having no problems of transitioning the skill set to mma, Antonio Silva holds an impressive record of nine wins by the time he faces former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez. This Ricco dude is not a controversial figure, do not believe the hype, as this Ricco dude IS controversy itself. His butt quickly got kicked around when he faced Randy Couture for the heavyweight belt back in UFC 39 - The Warriors Return, so he could come back in the consecutive rounds, overwhelming Couture by a ferocious ground dominance to the point where Randy was forced to submit verbally. A new Champion was born, and a new Champion was knocked out in a superbrief fashion by Tim Sylvia when Ricco failed to pull of his first title defense the very next time he stepped into the octagon. A rather tenacious, solid fighter he is nevertheless, with a probable recent tendency to offer quite intense leisure times for himself, as he comes to this fight rather fatty, though he approaches the EliteXC proving ground with the eyes of a very mature, composed warrior.

And truly that what Ricco Rodriguez is: he puts up three rounds of intense combat against Antonio Silva, whom game proves to be solid enough to render a split decision for him as conclusion. A quite even, somewhat desperate of a bout, in which Rodriguez exhibits the bigger desire to fight and to win, yet Antonio delivers the more considerable punishment and goes further on with the W. Explanations are given then by Silva on how he was not at his one hundred percent capacity now, but he will BE next time, that, he promises us. Both warriors made an intense and enjoyable game, though the most memorable aspect of the match remains Ricco Rodriguez's unbreakable fighting spirit he revealed by the night.

Tank Abbot vs Kimbo Slice

Quick, efficient deconstruction and show of class afterwards are the main elements you probably seek, and, let me tell you: find herein. A starting round spiced by a little tint of referee intervention due to hits to the back of the head, Kimbo wastes little if any time to take the Tank apart, connecting with bombs Abbot gets quickly rocked and endangered of. As a hasty conclusion for a story starting out in a quite fast paced manner itself, Slice drops heavy duty assaults on Tank's head to knock the iconic competitor out of this bout. Kimbo's triumph is convincing and complete, denying time all chance whatsoever to let this confrontation flow into the distance. Abbot couldn't match up to the speed and the unorthodox body movement of the Kimbo Thing this time around, thus the more colorful and fluent skill set quickly emerged victorious.

Tank still remains a face of mma you can never forget if you saw for once, yet it is safe to say that he needs some focal work on his versatility and his ability to dodge attacks if to remain in top level mma competition. This man lifts 600 pounds off his chest if needed, you can watch this at YouTube. And you can watch Kimbo's early career as well, as a source of rather radical amusement until we have the chance to watch him perform again in the professional league.

EliteXC Street Certificated delivers a knockout feast to tape your eye unto, while the organization slowly and surely starts to build up a warrior palette every mma fan must relate to. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer

Read more!

Eastern Promises

Order a Spiritual MOB Conspiracy! from Amazon

In his latest motion picture effort Eastern Promises, Canadian director David Cronenberg once again relies on third party, nevertheless: exquisite sources to tell a fresh story from, also it is of note that this here latest flick of him was shot entirely in England, the first film Cronenberg directed totally and completely outside of Canada.

Though Cronenberg still should be reckoned as creator and unique representative of the special horror language he developed and been cultivated of via his earlier works, - only Hostile Aliens from Outer Space see this link - recently he exhibits a keen willingness to sew motion picture statements from the fabric of guest screenplays he found worthy to build their corresponding film variants upon.

As of the new millenia, Cronenberg does a quite decent work of arranging the creative output of various authors into solid motion pictures, thus question arises if he is to invent another technocratic bodyhorror yet, - something you can't exactly get quite 'nuff of - or, we might be simply tricked around, and the deliverance of these recent Cronenberg titles are but to sedate our awareness so we could be shocked considerably when he is to offer another thorough sightseeing out of the depths of his personal vision.

Are these though words of doubt and relatively geekish bitterness of not having a technocratic bodyhorror this time around? Sure, partly it is. Yet one can't help but recognize Eastern Promises the masterful work it is. An impulsive flick armed with special merits, as Steven Knight's elegant story and Cronenberg's direction both deliver as solid of a sane, though rather rare mix of social/criminal commentary as we have ever seen. Anticipation is well above considerate when we are but a little less than two hours away from acknowledging the tagline Eastern Promises - well - promises:

Every sin leaves a mark.

We certainly do know that the question should not be if Cronenberg's latest delivery leaves a mark on popular culture. The question should be: how many marks it leaves and how deep they remain? Quite some, baby. Quite deep, baby.

Many do dream about- and wish for a life in the UK or the US as these countries certainly have the reputation of being capable to give everything if one is potent enough to offer something relevant these countries would keenly appreciate. You see, the Russian Mafia happens to be both potent and relevant enough to establish itself in the UK, thus being able to conduct operations of organized crime with a greater degree of precision in the area.

Eastern Promises concentrates on a UK based cell of the organization, presenting three focal characters to render a quite convincing output of the everyday existence of this criminal syndicate. Mr. Seymon, personified by the great actor Armin Mueller-Stahl is the Godfather of the cell, having somewhat of a hard time to make a "decent MOB guy" out of his son, Kirill. This similarly flawless performance of rendering a bohemain quasi-loser first and foremost armed with the conviction of being untouchable because of his inherited rights is solidly delivered by Vincent Cassel. The third focal character on the Mafia's side we will immensely relate to is of Viggo Mortensen's, as this is a welcomed second occasion we see Aragorn directed by David Cronenberg. Yes. I admit this Aragorn stuff have gotten old even before I tried to squash a joke off it, so I won't do that ever again.

Viggo Mortensen's character, Nikolai is assigned as The Driver for Kirill, yet we will swiftly gain an impression as if the Godfather would use Nikolai as a bodyguard for his son, of whom readyness to take care of himself the Boss is not entirely sure about. A rather elegant moral conflict then smoothly embeds into the nice Mafia buildup the film outlines, as a girl called Tatiana gives birth to her daughter, yet the mother dies during the confinement. Turns out that the girl was working as a prostitute for the Mafia cell, even happened to lead a rather detailed diary of all the atrocities she was subjected to by Kirill. The diary is found by a nurse called Anna, - Naomi Watts - but, having no knowledge of Russian language herself, she decides to ask for the help of a friendly Russian immigrant she is familiar with. The situation gets quite interesting, since this immigrant chef Anna knows is none other than the Godfather himself, who conducts and maintains a trusty cover story as Primal Commanding Force at the kitchen of his restaurant.

A Master Chef is waaay more dangerous than a Mafia Godfather, trust me.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Though Eastern Promises throws in some further, quite well developed supportive characters to lead the story on, the narrative remains strictly focused on Anna's intentions to force Kirill face his incompassionate deeds, the deeds she will eventually will be informed of. Also, to find a place and form of existence for the toddler that is the most beneficiary is a key agenda of Anna, yet all these fascinating aspects weigh in as but strong subsidiary background elements when the movie reveals its main dilemma.

The movie introduces a special kind of romance. Romance that seems to have no place, nor legitimacy to unfold, yet develops steadily as its resonators do try to deny its existence. The harder these distant characters try to resist the pull, the closer they wish to be to each other. It works as soon as both parties are willing to acknowledge their fascination with that particular bond. Well, or if at least one of them is ready to acknowledge, I suppose. Though these are the "common mechanics" of humane emotional attraction, your director surely creates elegant paths by establishing subtle, initially silent interpersonal channels between figures that are - seemingly -superfar from each other. Maybe the distance between them will be the focal source of attraction. After all, that is the kind of attraction which seems tasty enough to sink two rows of well defined astral teeth into, yes?

Nikolai goes for a discreet, though evident flirting process to gain Anna's attention. The Beauty and The Beast, orchestrated for real life humane registers and pasts/lifestyles/moral values of stupendous differences. The most valuable aspect of this narrative choice is Nikolai's evident capability to act and feel compassionately, regardless of the status he fills in as The Driver for a Russian Mafia cell notorious and feared of exhibiting ruthless aggressivity if fruity as far as practical considerations.

Of all the decent characters and their corresponding performances Eastern Promises deliver, Viggo Mortensen's role poses primal significance in the narrative buildup. This is the story of, and the movie about Nikolai, a person forged by forces we are not likely to form the quite proper ideas of, a man without further tears to shed remaining in him, yet also a man who "failed to collapse" under the past he was living through. Couldn't help but come out as a man you are not likely to surprise easily, though he possesses a very firm inner value system as well, a system which existence he is absolutely sure of, and made a temporal (?) peace of not having channels to vibrate it through at the moment.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

These are the focal elements to keep this film in a constant, convincing flow, as events and characters all deliver relevant interest and opposing agendas to tell this story without any moment of narrative hollowness present. Even Cronenberg's inner vision seems to reveal for offering quite intent of a glimpse of itself through the focal character developed by Steven Knight, as Nikolai clearly is a figure to possess an improbable emotional structure of inner humane buildup. He has no ties, no memories he would regard as important - he has nothing
but the droid-dog-loyalty he is ready to render as a massively stable guarantee of flawless service delivered for a criminal syndication.

The fact that Russian prisoners have their stories and deeds tattooed on their bodies gains an immense, symbolic significance factor in this here Cronenberg movie. Nikolai's body is a silent testament of who he really is, though all he ever was means little more to him than keeping a diary he couldn't get rid of even if he wanted to, as one who was a Russian prisoner and had no tattoos: did not, and therefore does not even exist. A very nice metaphor then quickly unravels here, pointing at the notion how the horrid events that made Nikolai who he is ended up as factual history on his body, while the person who lived through and emerged from the Russian prison hell gained blatant degree of emotional toughness, failing to show interest anymore towards the traumas he was subjected to. Nevertheless, he does keep written history of all this, as traditions and Prison Law - nice noise there, sorry 'bout that - does recognize, and bizarrely: respects its sufferers by giving them the ornamental records of what they could endure and overcome. A thorough glimpse unto this fascinating, hidden underculture is subtly offered in this installment, utilized also to make a very interesting character out of the focal figure of Nikolai.

Eastern Promises utilizes solid, extremely coherent setups and environments Cronenberg seems fond relying on these days, filling the tender, usually modest images he uses with the actual conflicts forming between the characters. This coherence and the evident uninterest of surprising us with everyday action-attractions even makes place for a quite memorable fight scene unfolding in a VIP bathroom. This is the first occasion you see Cronenberg directing such a sequence, and let me tell you something: both him and his actors perform masterfully in that bathroom.

Following the 2005, stable effort of History of Violence, director David Cronenberg delivers yet another solid work based on other sources than his own, a highly defendable, mature installment to enrich directions beside his technocratic bodyhorror language.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

- OK. Could you do -hmm- Bohemian Rhapsody??
- HELL, yeah!

If you enjoyed this here article, check out my comic: Planetseed
If you are to circulate magnificently pleasant vibrations: Buy me Beer
Read more!