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Haack ...The King of Techno (2004)
Not that bad, but suffers from overall mistakes and lack of direction.
First of all, kudos to the director for making a documentary about Bruce Haack. I doubt anyone else would have due to Haack's obscurity. However, that also puts a lot of obligation on the shoulders of the director, since his work will probably be one of the sole reference works about Haack in the future. Unfortunately I think there's problems in that aspect, but more on that later.
The documentary starts off well by introducing Haack with some basic background information. There's some good insights into Haack's personality as a musician, with some interesting anecdotes and facts. I was under the impression that Haack eventually ended up dropping out of Julliard, so I thought it was odd that there was no mention of this. Furthermore, there was no mention of the fact that he had a degree psychology, which I think is important to his approach to music. From the relatively good start, the movies goes into a somewhat confusing segment which features a group of people who had known Haack when they were kids. I never really came to understand their relationship to Haack, and I think the director used their commentaries to little effect. This is also a problem in the various interviews with modern day DJs and electronic musicians. Few of them seemed to be particularly inspired or influenced by him, and merely seemed to be interested in his music because of his status as an obscure pioneer of the genre. As such, they added very little to the documentary. I'm not putting down the artists for their comments, but merely the way their commentary had been integrated into the documentary as such.
There is little information about Haack's methods of composition as an electronic musician. His use of vocoders, which I personally think is one of Haack's principle distinctions as a pioneer, is not mentioned once. I was also disappointed that no real attempts were made to draw any parallels between Haack's lyrics and his life. Especially since I have always found his lyrical themes and concepts (religion, powerlove, computerization of mankind etc) to be particularly unique. Generally, there should have been made a better distinction between his work as a composer of children's music and his more serious outputs. There are huge differences. Ideally, the director should have gone through and properly described (sort of like how he did with "Haackula," but more thoroughly) some of Haack's most important albums.
So, all in all, this documentary is not that bad, but it definitely has its share of problems. Frankly, the angle of trying to make Haack into the "Godfather of Techno" does not really work. It's a shame, because this is probably the only time someone will do a serious attempt of shedding some light on the otherwise enigmatic and obscure Bruce Haack.
Twin Peaks (1990)
"Diana, I am holding in my hand a box of chocolate bunnies!"
Well what can I say?
Twin Peaks is simply one of the greatest and most interesting TV shows ever created. However, it was also with its weird and supernatural themes ahead of it's time, and this was sadly was one of the reasons why it never did as good as it deserved.
The story begins as a simple murder case in the relatively small town of Twin Peaks. A popular young girl named Laura Palmer is found dead. Soon, another girl is reported missing, but she has however managed to escape the grim fate that Laura suffered, and barely alive she is spotted wandering along a railroad track. Because the young girl crossed a state border, the FBI is called in, and soon a agent named Dale Cooper arrives. Together, he and the local sheriff Harry Truman, and his men Hawk and Andy, starts to investigate the murder of Laura. It doesn't take long before they realize that something more sinister has taken place, and that Laura was not the perfect and innocent girl she appeared to be. In the background, 2 of Laura's closest friends, Donna and James also tries to learn more about the fate of their friend. As the story unfolds, many other citizens, each with their own goals and problems, all gets involved in the dramas and mysteries of Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks has it all. Drama, mystery, horror and romance. I guess you can compare it to a soap opera, mainly because of the many subplots and interactions between almost all of the regular characters in the series. Especially the characters are wonderful. I cannot think of another individual that is as likeable as Agent Cooper. And I cannot think of a better actor to play him than Kyle MacLachlan; he is simply awesome. Basically, all the actors fit their roles perfectly, and they all manage to add depth to their characters; as well as make them interesting. David Lynch and Mark Frost made Twin Peaks in a way, so that every character has an importance and place in the puzzle, but also in a way so that you never know where in the puzzle the character fits. The Twin Peaks mood is simply indescribable, it's so unique! The jazzy and ambient music of Angelo Badalamenti certainly helps create this mood. And of course the weird Lynch elements, that you either love or hate.
Twin Peaks was strongest in its first season, no doubt about that. In the second season, the general audience was "scared" away with the increasing use of weird elements, and alot of the time the questions only lead to more questions, and never answers. Basically, when the audience had gotten the answer to "Who killed Laura Palmer?", the question that had kept them interested, they no longer felt a reason to watch it. Another slightly annoying aspect of the second season, was that the subplots strayed too far away from the mainplot, something which was very frustrating, especially when everyone would rather like the story to go on. Nonetheless, it's still Twin Peaks and it's still great. However, something which I really disappointed me was the way the series ended. The final episode (which was extended) was a masterpiece, and the final scene left me both stunned and horrified (I advise you NOT to read any spoilers concerning this scene, just watch it). However, I feel like the final episode fails to answer alot the questions, especially concerning the subplots, and once again...it just gives out even more questions! Like, what happened to Audrey, Andrew and Pete? And what about Dr. Hayward and Ben Horne (and his connection with Donna)? It's a real shame that Twin Peaks didn't get the time to end properly. On a final note, I recommend that you watch "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me", only after watching the series. Although it's alot more brutal and cynic than the series, it still manages to fill in some of the gaps that the series left.
What is this show about? To put it simply: the adventures of the two brothers named Pete and Pete. To be more specific: everything.
"The Adventures of Pete and Pete" was amazing. It revovls around the life and ongoings of the two redhaired brothers Pete and Pete. The show's overall theme was about routines, rules, observations and just the small things in everyday life, and the brothers (especially the youngest Pete; since the older Pete was the narrator) quest to understand - or break out of - these things. Like the time when younger Pete and his friends decide to stay up 12 nights in a row, because they feel it is unfair that adults are allowed to stay up longer than kids.
The two brothers are portrayed by Michael C. Maronna (older Pete) and Danny Tamberelli (younger Pete) and they both add depth and personality to their characters. Other main characters such as Pete and Pete's parents and the closest of the two brother's friends are also played skillfully, but especially Toby Huss does a remarkable job as Artie (The World's Strongest Man), and he manages to portray this absolutely absurd character in a way so that you can relate to him. It's also a fun idea to use Adam West, Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, Kate Pierson and other various famous (or retro-famous) personalities, in small roles. Kudos also goes for the selection of music used in the series. From the catchy title song ("Hey Sandy), to the more mellow background songs (like "She Is Staggering" and "Everywhere"). The music blends in perfectly, and the show wouldn't be quite the same without it. Most of it (including the songs mentioned) was done by a band called Polaris, but others like Semi-Gloss, Drop Nineteens and Steve Merritt also contributed songs.
The show can generally be called surreal, or just plain weird, as the other kids in my class used to call it when it aired here in Denmark. Granted, it is weird, but that was just one of its many qualities. What many - apparently - failed to realize was that all the weird things had a metaphorical meaning and served an overall purpose or point. Even when the point was, that there was no point.
This is in my opinion one of the greatest kids/young adult shows ever made. It shares the #1 spot with Eerie Indiana, which just like this show, had something unique to offer. The mood, the aura...the feeling(s) I got when I watched this show. I will never forget them. And on an autumn day, with the crisp, semi-frosted air, the crystal blue sky and the lush colours and nuances of the fallen leaves; I often find myself thinking back to that show.
I urge you to check this show out if you happen to stumble upon it one day, even if you have "grown up". And for all of those who like myself watched it as a kid...watch it again! You'll be amazed, trust me.
The Odyssey (1992)
Very original and unique TV show
Although this show is intended for kids/young adults, it can certainly be watched by the older crowd too. What I find so captivating about this show was the story. In it we follow a kid called Jay who falls down from his treehouse and goes into coma. His mind then decends into another state and counciousness, the eeire realm known as "Downworld", a world without adults. Jay eventually finds 2 followers Flash and Alpha, both of them resemple his real life friends, and together they set off on a odyssey to find Jay's vanished father. The 3 adventures encounters many odd and weird individuals as they go along, always finding themselves in hostile situations. Will they ever uncover the truth of Jay's father and Downworld?
Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990)
Very much ahead of its time
"Parker Lewis" was a very unusual show, and that's probably also the reason why it only lasted 3 seasons. The show revolves around the life of the main character Parker (the trendy guy), and his pals, Mikey (the cool guy), Jerry (the nerdy guy) and later on also Kubiac (the bully guy, who turned out to be all right).
It's all about being a teenager, and all what comes with it, love, trouble with the parents, making choices etc. What makes the show unique is the stories, and more importantly how they are told. It's hard to explain really, but it's something out of the ordinary, and it definately worth checking out.
Even though the show didn't last very long, it did help make the way for other brilliant children/young adult shows such as "Eerie Indiana" and "The Adventures of Pete and Pete".
Stjerner uden hjerner (1997)
Horrible movie in every single aspect of film making. There's absolutely NOTHING good about this. When I first heard about it, and how bad it was, I thought there might be a chance that it could be a "so bad it's funny movie", but it's not. It's just not funny; it's boring, plotless and just plain stupid. For any curious foreign readers, I can tell you that Timm and Gordon, were a comedy duo that had some cult status in the mid 90's here in Denmark. Apparently, some guy thought that they were popular enough that he could make a stupid movie about them, and earn some easy money. But it was also a complete failure on this part. It's fitting that the title of the movie is called "Stjerner uden hjerne", which means "Stars without brains". On a little side note, the movie has more or less been claimed the worst movie in Danish history, but a line from that movie has also been called the worst line in Danish history.
"My grandfather did play a lot of saw when I was a kid." - Timm, on being asked how he got interested in music.
Eerie, Indiana (1991)
A show ahead of its time and with depth
Eerie Indiana is a show about a kid called Marshall who moves to the suburban city of "Eerie Indiana". But behind this American dream lurks a much more sinister reality. Apparently, Marshall and his only friend Simon (the loyal sidekick) are the only ones who can see all the weirdness going on, and they have made it their mission to uncover the truth!
This is simply a great, great show. I first watched it when I was a kid, but later on I watched it again with equal facisnation and passion. Although the show is meant for the younger audience, it can certainly be viewed by the older crowd too. It has creative and interesting stories, some of them are inspired by 50's horror and cult movies, but they still manage to stay in their own little universe. The acting is superb, far better than most other kid shows I have seen. Eerie Indiana has it's own mood and aura, something which is very rare in a show like this. It's really a shame that the show was cut after only 19 episodes, it had so much more to offer. Like another reviewer I also agree that the only show that this can be compared to is "The Adventures of Pete and Pete", because of the two shows resemble each other in many ways. Not to be mistaken though, they are completely different shows plot and genre wise, but they offer something out of the ordinary, not just another all-too-familiar show. Both of these shows should definately be considered cult, because they are...atleast by my generation.
By the way, there is a DVD released containing the first 4 episodes, and I seriously hope that they will continue to release all. Oh and don't even bother checking out "Eerie Indiana: The Other Dimension" it's nothing like this, but rather a poor attempt to create something ala "Goosebumbs" or "Are You Afraid of the Dark?".
Baywatch Nights (1995)
Simply horrible. This is a spin-off show from Baywatch with Mitch running around with his police officer friend, playing detective. Bah, it's simply horrible...no original plots, boring and uncreative acting and way too predictable stories.
Soul Music (1997)
Great for the open minded!
First of all, I would like to say that I have not YET read the book when I first saw this, simply because I had never even heard of Discworld (besides seeing some of books around here and there). I've read quite a few complaints about the animation technique used in this film. I personally think it's great! It somehow fits excellently together with the weird and unique universe that the Discworld is. Although, I gotta agree that the use of recycled characters (such as the maids at the Unseen University) could have been done better. Just like they shouldn't have looped scenes etc. But these small "flaws" doesn't even come near into ruining this great series. The story is interesting, though I gotta say that I enjoyed the scenes with the band, more than with Susan. There's no doubt that most of the voice talents are excellent, even for some of the minor characters. Such as the wannabe "Music With Rocks In" band and the long haired assisant at the Unseen University. The music is nicely made too, and it's funny to listen to how it starts with Elvis type music, moves up to Jerry Lee Lewis, then The Beatles, heads into Jimi Hendrix and ends with a Van Halen 80's style rock.