Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sensory Overload #2

This certainly seems the way forward for getting everything in so without further ado...


The Lovely Bones

Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from heaven.

Possibly the worst Peter Jackson film released to date (and that includes King Kong). The incumbent use of CG and terrible editing detracts from the story and even the acting talent on display can't save this film from being a complete let down. Stick with the book.


The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas.

Here's something you don't see every day; a horror film with a semi-intelligent plot. More of a thriller to be honest but worth tracking down for rental. Greek myth and modern tragedy.


Heaps of new music this month continuing with:

Beach House - Teen Dream

3rd album from the Baltimore, Maryland pop group. Their best yet?

Listen to Beach House here.

Video for Heart of Chambers.

Four Tet - There Is Love In You

A return to form for Kieran Hebdon. Welcome back.

Listen to Four Tet here.

Video for Hands.

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

Debut album from a group in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Listen to Surfer Blood here.

Video for Neighbour Riffs.


Saw Bonobo last weekend. It was a DJ set in the Black Box. Mr Scruff is playing tonight but will be missing it heading out for shits and giggles with friends. He's worth checking out for sure.

See ya next time.

Coming next week: new albums from Midlake, Spoon and The Magnetic Fields.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sensory Overload #1

My New Years resolution for this blog is to try and post more often. Usually I want to review a film, album or gig and then never get around to it. Writing a review usually takes a good portion of my time and since I'm habitually lazy, most often I do not get around to doing anything.

So, in order to get everything in, I won't be writing a full scale review of anything unless it really excites me and I'm motivated to do so. Therefore it's my intention to start a new column as such and update you in a batch fashion. So, let's get on with it.


I've seen a few really good films this year, some of which I hope to see win an Oscar or get a nomination, others I'd ideally like my time back from wasting it.

A Prophet

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

I would love to see this film win the Best Foreign Picture Oscar. Amazing performances and mesmerising from start to finish.

A Serious Man

A black comedy set in 1967 and centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife prepares to leave him because his inept brother won't move out of the house.

Latest from the Coen brothers. Beautifully shot with great performances but just didn't deliver for me.

The Road

A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible.

Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's prize winning novel, Viggo turns in another fine turn as The Man. Slow moving and sometimes chilling, it's a shame that his son, The Boy, doesn't deliver but as entertaining as it is bleak.


2010 is off to a good start with the following albums worth a listen

Vampire Weekend - Contra

2nd album from Ezra Koenig and company, expanding on the sounds from their debut and taking a strange twist on their trademark sounds.

Listen to Vampire Weekend here.

Laura Veirs - July Flame

Several albums into her career and still making great music. Not as instantly accessable as Saltbreakers but I think this one will be a sleeper hit.

Listen to Laura Veirs here.

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

Great album and single of the month so far for One Life Stand.

Listen to Hot Chip here.


I saw Modest Mouse and Frightened Rabbit in December besides attending the ATP Nightmare Before Xmas in Minehead. My first gig of the year will be Bonobo at the Black Box on 23rd followed by Yeasayer and Jesca Hoop in February.

Well, I hope that's the first of many more frequent updates. Any recommendations greatly appreciated!


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Top 20 Films of 2009

I watch more films than listen to new albums and it's made even trickier because unlike music that I can look at and know what year it was released, I can't recall all the films I've seen in the last 12 months so if I have missed any great movies it's because I've simply forgotten them so please let me know if you've seen a great cinematic masterpiece that I haven't listed or you think should be in the Top 20.

Naturally, these are in no particular order and if you haven't seen them, check out the trailer and go rent it!

Let The Right One In

Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire


The story of notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine.


Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.


A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

The Hurt Locker

Iraq. Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.

Frozen River

Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage.

The Hangover

A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him.

Inglourious Basterds

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.

Gran Torino

Disgruntled Korean War vet Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino.

District 9

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.


An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Star Trek

A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.

Terminator Salvation

After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job.


The horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies...

Dead Snow

A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.


A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.


In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.


Four friends fleeing a viral pandemic soon learn they are more dangerous than any virus.


A comedy set in the summer of 1987 and centered around a recent college grad (Eisenberg) who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

There's some great films lined up for 2010 and hopefully I'll get time to review more than I have this year. Have a great New Year and enjoy the popcorn!

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