Sunday, April 09, 2006 

Franz Ferdinand - You could have it so much better

Title: You could have it so much better
Artist: Franz Ferdinand
Record Label: Sony - BMG
1. Fallen, The
2. Do You Want To
3. This Boy
4. Walk Away
5. Evil And A Heathen
6. You're The Reason I'm Leaving
7. Eleanor Put Your Boots On
8. Well That Was Easy
9. What You Meant
10. I'm Your Villian
11. You Could Have It So Much Better
12. Fade Together
13. Outsiders

The highly anticipated followup to their 2004 debut, the new Franz Ferdinand disc delivers. The opening track sets a tone followed through most of the album, an easily hummable, very catchy, and engaging sound. The lyrics, while none too serious, seem to be well thought out, and manage to avoid being offensive, while seeming slightly biting. The lyricism hits it's high point in 'Walk away,' With it's beautiful and seemingly narrative vibe. Showing some lyrical panache, Kapranos croons in the intro; "I swapped my innocence for pride
Crushed the end within my stride
Said 'I'm strong now I know that I'm a leaver"
I love the sound of you walking away
Mascara bleeds a blackened tear
And I am cold
Yes I'm cold
But not as cold as you are
I love the sound of you walking away"

The low point of the album may be seen as 'This boy,' which, despite it's excellent intro, slides into a highly irritable chorus of "I want a car!" Though bad, this is easily forgiven, as it is mercifully short.

Conversly, the best song on here, is, in my (highly worthwhile) opinion, 'Evil and a Heathen.' Easily the heaviest track in terms of pure rock, this is a louder, faster song than most of the rest. While it is good, it is easy to see why this was not the track selected as the single to promote the album, it is not representative of the album as a whole.

Unfortunately, the band seems to have succumbed to one of the common mistakes that seem to plague sophomore albums. They have identified the componont of their debut albums success, and seem to have mistaken the song structure for a unique sound. this translates to a large number of the songs containing a very similar 'lead up, drop and go' feel. Luckily, this is still a good thing, though I may reccomend after digesting the album several times all the way through, it works better as seperate parts than as a whole, and is composed of singles, rather than a sort of musical journey. Perfect ingredients for playlists.

The genius of Franz Ferdinand, and I believe on of the reasons that they stand so far above the rest of the 'New-new wave' phenom, is that they allow even the most pedestrian of listeners to feel as though they are listening to something arty, whilst still getting good music. Their competitors (IE; Bloc party, the killers, et al) all seem to be more concerned with their makeup than their songwriting. The "music for girls to dance to" kids seem to be doing all-right.

Score: 8/10

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 

Title: The Transporter 2 2005

Starring: Jason Statham, Kate Nauta, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta
Director: Louis Leterrier
Rating: Rated PG-13 intense sequences of violent action, sexual content, partial nudity and brief language.
Imdb link:
Genre: Action

Review of Movie:
Ah, the Transporter. The red headed step-child of the action movie family. The first movie was not bad, in fact, it was pretty good. But still, it was largely panned, and quickly forgotten. But, lying in wait was Louis Leterrier with the REAL movie.
The formula for The Transporter 2 goes something like this:
-Take 'The Transporter'
-Subtract plot
-Increase action

Not to say that is a bad thing. This movie is a visual orgy, every shot, no matter how insignificant is shot perfectly. I could not care less about the fact that the plot was like a rejected '24' season. To add to the visual supremacy of the movie is the excellent fight choreography, a lethal ballet. There is one scene in particular which I found to be the most inventive, and most entertaining since the bamboo fight in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.' All I can give you for a hint is, 'Fire hose.'

Resuming his role as the titular transporter is Jason Statham, most recognizable from his roles in Guy Ritchie Films (IE 'Lock stock, and Two Smoking Barrels' 'Snatch'), has bulked up since we last saw him.. Very convincing in this role, It is disappointing to see his acting range limited to Angry, Smoldering, Angry, and more Angry. The Femme Fatale opposite Statham, played by Kate Nauta, alternately sultry, seductive, and Bat-Shit insane. Coming back and stealing the show is the French policeman, providing much needed comic relief and wit. For a change of pace from the interesting characters, the 'Bad guy,' (Alessandro Gassman) is completely unconvincing, and the low point of the movie.

A nearly non-stop thrill ride, The Transporter two is a great rental.

Movie Final Score : 8/10

Review of Special Features:

The movie includes two English audio tracks (DTS 5.1, Surround 5.1), which is a plus for anyone with a nice audio set up.
The rest of the features are much less 'special,' than Dolby theater surround (a rarity on some DVD's). A making of featurette is included, which is the typical "Oh, it was very nice to work with (name)" doc, more of a thank you to the studio than a look inside the workings of a movie.
Also on the disc are the standard deleted scenes, which were obviousley cut for good reason, and an extended rough cut of one car chase, which contains some of the most hideous music imaginable.

On the plus side, the disc is two sided, including the Widescreen, and Chopped version. The audio quality is superb, and the video transfer is crisp, and brings forth vivid colors.

DVD Final Score : 6/10


It's all gone pete tong review

Title: It's all gone Pete Tong (2004)
Starring: Paul Kaye, Beatriz Batarda, Kate Magowan, Mike Wilmot
Director: Michael Dowse
Rating: Rated R for pervasive drug and alcohol abuse, language and some sexual content/nudity.
Imdb link:
Genre: Comedy, semi-mockumentry

Review: It's All Gone Pete Tong is one cool movie, plain and simple. The plot centers around a World Famous D.J. by the name of Frankie Wilde. Frankie Is at the top of his game, the number one D.J. in the world, playing to sold out crowds in Ibiza, the Spanish Island, World renowned as being "Europe's party spot." Things are going well, all the money, cocaine, and women he can handle, until Frankie's hedonistic lifestyle catches up with him, and his hearing unexpectedly deserts him. A deaf DJ? What a joke.

In a comical, and often touching way, "It's all gone Pete Tong" tells Wilde's story through a mixture of standard, and unconventional filmmaking. Most of the movie is shot and told as a normal narratives, but occasional blurring occur when real life D.J.'s (Tiesto, Paul Van Dyke, etc.), and other characters, are interviewed, as if in a documentary. In any other film, this could come off as akward, but here, we simply accept it, and love it.

The performances here are top notch, with believable characters, really drawing us in. This movie, while a fun, and entertaining film, is actually one of the most inspirational movie's I have ever seen. We root for Frankie, when he falls, we hurt, and when he gets back up, we swell with pride.

Lastly, the sound track. This is a music-centric movie, and the quality of the sound track reflects that. If you are even a mild fan of house, trance, or and electronic music, you will recognize music as top tier. If I can find a copy, I am buying it, the live sets, the pre-recorded sets, everything shines.

Final Score : 10/10 for style and 5000000/10 for cool
Best fucking movie I've seen in forever.

Final note:
The physical manifestation of his cocaine habit as a badger.