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Brilliant DVD but they have done better shows.
Everywhere But Home felt a little like a spur of the moment thing. A little bit "hey, let's get some cameras in for this next gig and we'll make a DVD out of it". But to the Foo Fighters credit, virtually every show they do is worthy of a DVD release, the boys really know how to put on a show time and time again.
It's a great set, performed on the back of their 'One By One' tour, the album they made specifically for what would get them and their audience off during a live show, and also includes some of the hit songs from the three earlier albums... So it's a nice mix for old and new fans alike. Brilliant choice of songs for the encore I might add.
Dave is typically charismatic and funny (including a great dedication for a fans birthday), Chris and Nate get their own little showcases on particular songs and of course Taylor Hawkins is smokin' as usual (you'd have to be as the drummer in Dave Grohl's band wouldn't you?) but the feature was missing the little jams and covers that the band usually do at their concerts in between songs, would have been nice to see some of that stuff on there.
The DVD also includes some smaller sets from other concerts and a smooth acoustic Washington gig. But by far the most impressive easter egg; and my personal favourite part of the DVD, is a concert from Dublin recorded in 2003. The Dublin gig boasts a version of 'All My Life' where Dave does not cut the words short to save his breath (sounding very close to the original album recording, which is rare for live versions of this song) as well as a live rendition of Aurora; and as any seasoned Foo Fighetrs fan would know that Aurora live is a very rare treat indeed. Along with a large amount of other easter eggs for the inquisitive (Dave drumming for the support act in their garage among others) so it's a great all round package, with much fun to be had by Foo Fighters fans.
The basic problem I have is that this Toronto gig is by no means their greatest performance. I would have preferred to see a DVD release of the Foo Fighters pay per view gig that they did in 2000 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, now that was a show (an awesome opening interview, Dave and Taylor drum duel on Breakout and another on Stacked Actors with Earl Hudson, great showcase of Chris on slide guitar to name a few treats). It seems that the build up and planning for a big show that they know is being recorded does them the world of good. So we can only hope for something else like this from the Foo Fighters in the future... And that is quite likely to happen considering how they seem to be getting tighter and tighter as time goes on.
8/10 (as a Foo Fighters fan).
Koroshiya 1 (2001)
This is more violent than Kill Bill? WTF?
Miike films (in particular Ichi) have, in my opinion, developed an unwarranted "most disturbing" title. Granted, it all comes down to what disturbs the individual, but for Miike films (again in particular, Ichi) to disturb you more than anything, torture would have to be the thing that floats your boat. And for me, that doesn't really cut it -- no pun intended.
I think the main reason that I wasn't impressed with this (besides having just watched the amazing Oldboy) is because of all the fan warnings I read about Ichi; claiming that it was 10 times gorier and more violent than Kill Bill... What the hell? Did I watch a different 130 min uncut version? I don't mean to downplay the horror Ichi the Killer depicts; there is some really messed up stuff to be seen here, but as far as violence and gore go, you could do better with Kill Bill, and even better with something like Dawn of the Dead or a reputable giallo film.
I wouldn't say steer clear, because any video nasty and gore fan would probably have already seen this, and I don't want to discourage people that are remotely interested either because it's a good film in it's own right, but people should really stop holding this in such high regard among the "most disturbing" class... It really doesn't rank that highly. 6/10.
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Very biased and as a documentary it's nothing special.
The hype got to me. I had been hearing about Michael Moore for too long, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did so because now I know what I was missing out on... Not much at all really. The problem with Bowling for Columbine is it's often hard to know what to believe as Moore is very sketchy with some of his information and he rarely gets in depth with the topics he touches on. He is a very clever and manipulative guy, you have to give him that much. In a roundabout way I agree with what he has to say; there is no doubting that there is a gun problem in the states, but it's hard to warm to the film as Moore comes across as really quite arrogant and annoying and he leaves so much to be desired from his interviews (I would love to see the entire Marilyn Manson interview, they seemed to be on two completely different pages). It might have turned out to be a better film if he had gotten Fahrenheit 9/11 out of his system before making this. Just take the film with a grain of salt, it's nothing special. Bowling for Columbine: 6.5/10 really not much of note (to me anyway).
Ma Yong Zhen (1972)
Better than average kung-fu film. Heavy influences on Tarantino's Kill Bill.
One of those films that you find in a "Everything here $1..." bin at your video store. It's dated, the video and sound quality are poor, the acting is typically sh*thouse and the storyline has been done 100 times before. But being somewhat of a fan of kung-fu films, I try to see anything no matter how bad it looks. The Boxer From Shantung is no classic of the genre, but it does provide some excitement, some innovative concepts and some of your standard Shaw Brothers kick ass action, so it can't be a complete waste. One thing that came straight to mind when I saw the 'House of Blue Leaves' chapter in Kill Bill vol. 1 was this film. The Boxer From Shantung inspired the sequence where the crazy 88s come rushing into the club through any entrance available. Admittedly though, Tarantino did it better. Also, the lead actor Kuan Tai Chen kept reminding me of Charles Bronson, he looks like him but it's mostly his mannerisms. He went on to star in many more Shaw Brothers films (see: The Flying Guillotine). 7/10 -- but only because I'm partial to kung-fu films.
The Cable Guy (1996)
Sorely underrated, and a personal favourite.
This review is not coming from someone whose top ten films consist primarily of Farrelly Bros. films, nor do I have a particular liking for anyone involved in the film.
First of all, hats off to Jim Carrey. I read under the trivia section that his role wasn't originally intended for him, but be honest; can you see anyone else playing the cable guy? He was brilliant. He takes the film from what would have been a run-of-the-mill comedy, to levels of greatness, and anyone that thinks I'm being too kind either doesn't like Carrey (it was the film that made me do a complete turn around), or needs to see the film again.
The overall tone of the film is a bit of a mix, it gets darker as the story goes along, but the jokes never mollify. I mean, it's a stalker story with clever film and television references... It's really hard to pin down the identity of this film.
This ranks as Stiller's best directorial performance to date. Reality Bites and Zoolander are good, but not great. This film expresses a lot more of his prowess. I see him as a very capable film maker, he is just yet to make his mark with something more widely appreciated.
The Cable Guy is by no means a classic film, and admittedly, you wont see it on any AFI lists anytime soon, but there is no denying the quality effort that was put into this film by all of it's contributors. And there are many of them -- check out all of those cameos! Chip Douglas' (Carrey) contrived relationship with his customer Steven (Broderick) ranks as one of the most memorable in recent history. It has set a precedent in black comedies that has scarcely been touched since.
I would have seen this film at least 30 times by now and it still seems fresh, and this has lead me to believe that the film probably needs to be viewed more than once for it to completely appreciated. I only wish that there were more people out there that 'get' this gem.
This concludes our broadcast day. Click.
Game of Death (1978)
Barely watchable. Bruce Lee would be turning in his grave.
I wish this wasn't credited to Bruce Lee's name, it's an embarrassment to all involved, and I honestly can't see why this film is praised by some people.
Lee filmed a few fight scenes for a movie before putting the project on hold to do Enter The Dragon, and of course his death. This is the finished product (without his input). His scenes were poorly edited into a full length piece of crap.
I tried to look past the fact that shots switched from old, grainy film to cleaner, sharper film continuously throughout any scene with the real Lee. I tried to look past the appalling effects; such as sticking a picture of Lee's face on a mirror, and filming it as if attached to someone's reflection. I even managed to look past the fact that the guy playing Lee's character for the rest of the film barely looked like him at all. But I still ended up with a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the film.
There is still a point of interest for Bruce Lee fans, the last 15 minutes are great, (the real) Lee's fight with Abdul-Jabar is amazing...But it didn't do the overall product very much help (for the full unedited version of what Bruce Lee filmed for this, check out the documentary on the man called 'Bruce Lee: A Warriors Journey'). This is my second bad experience with unfinished/unreleased films being edited into others, (see also, or more appropriately -- don't see also: Sam's Song starring Robert De Niro), so I have learnt my lesson. 2.5/10.
Poolhall Junkies (2002)
Swingers meets The Hustler.
There isn't really much to say about this film. It has the basic formula, average script, average acting and yet I can't help but enjoy it. Considering it's style and snappy dialogue, it is quite obviously a Swingers inspired project and although not as successful, it still makes for some great viewing.
The cast is excellent. Walken is a standout. He brings so much to this movie, quite frankly I can't see it working without him. And Mars Callahan... A solid actor; and I get this guy, I get what he's doing and I can only hope to see him growing creatively through more of his work in future. But I am not holding my breath, writing and direction and quite clearly not his strengths and I fear that he will never top this film.
This is one of those movies that will no doubt spawn a cult following, especially among the pool hustlers out there. Look out for the great Trees Lounge reference too, a nice touch.
I don't know what is going on with the release of this film, but I bought it on (region 0) DVD at K-mart in Australia, despite the fact it hasn't hit cinemas yet. Essential viewing for any pool fanatic. 8/10.
Mick Molloy -- A comedic genius.
I was very impressed with the latest production from Mick Molloy. As a fan of his, I was used to a different kind of humour than displayed here. He wisely opted with a more subtle, broad style of comedy in Crackerjack, rather than his usual low brow, in-your-face ramblings. It is, at times, inconsistent and un-even, but a decent script works past that, and makes for some entertaining viewing. Directed by Paul Moloney (who has directed almost every Australian TV series imaginable), Crackerjack tells the story of Jack Simpson, a bloke that belongs to his local bowls club for the sole reason of parking. When the club hits financial trouble, he is forced to bowl competitively in an attempt to raise the funds to save the club from becoming a poker machine haven. A familiar, and successful formula, that is handled well. There is no denying that the film owes it's success to the great casting of Molloy. He seemed to have a great rapport with Samuel Johnson, and excellent chemistry with Judith Lucy, and while the character is probably not a far stretch from his own personality, you can't help but wonder why he hadn't tried his arm at film earlier. To smooth out the in-experienced cast, the delightful Frank Wilson and Bill Hunter support, and often steal their scenes. They are two fine actors and the pair cruise through their roles with ease. Had it not been for the huge success of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', Crackerjack would have made it to number 1 at the Australian box office, but when you consider what he film is about and who is involved, even making it to number 2 was an outstanding effort. All in all, a witty, feel-good movie. Great cast, great crew, and a great soundtrack, combine to make one of the better Australian films of 2002. 7/10.