Monday, 31 October 2011

Celebrating Florence's Glorious Ceremonials



I've been looping Florence And the Machine's new album Ceremonials non-stop for days now, and I still can't get enough of it. It's a glorious album of soaring highs and even higher highs, and is one I can really get high on. Er, ok, maybe not THAT kind of high, but you get the point.

Like Lungs, the emphasis is on Florence Welch's powerful, almost shouty vocals, with tough, pounding, almost tribal drum rhythms that add an almost visceral feeling to the songs. I saw Florence And The Machine live in concert a couple years ago (and interviewed her as well, she is such a darling little flightly, wispy character), and the drumbeats were the most memorable parts of the music (as well as her mad enthusiasm) for me.

My favorite song on the album BY FAR is All This And Heaven Too; a beautifully written, stirring, soaring song that rises and falls like a wave, with lyrics that flow along smoothly with the crests and falls of the music. It's got everything - beautiful, quiet breaks, a soaring chorus, a flowing, crescendo-ing outro, and wonderfully worded lyrics... I was looping this ONE song for more than an hour last week, and I'm STILL not sick of it.

As for the rest, my next favorite is Shake It Out, which is probably the most obvious 'hit single' of the album; and then there's Heartlines, album opener Only If For a Night, What The Water Gave Me, and Never Let Me Go... like Lungs, the more you listen to the album, the more each individual song stands out more.

One thing about the album though, it doesn't exactly break new ground when it comes to Florence's musical style. Somehow many of the songs just don't stand out as much as the individual brilliance of the songs in Lungs. Maybe it's the fact that I'm already used to her style now, whereas when Lungs came out, her sound was still fresh to my ears. But anyhow, if you liked Lungs, you'll like this one as well.

Most of the songs would also sound awesome in concert, which leads me to believe that If Lungs was her eccentric debut, then this is Florence And The Machine's huge stadium anthem album. Now if only she'd come back to the region for another show. I would give it all this and heaven too just to hear her sing All This And Heaven Too live. That would be glorious, just glorious.

Friday, 28 October 2011

THUNDERING TYPHOONS! TINTIN IS TIP-TOP!



The Adventures of Tintin.
Not A Review.
TEN THOUSAND THUNDERING TYPHOONS!
BILLIONS OF BILIOUS BLUE BLISTERING BARNACLES!
IT'S TINTIN!
Directed by Steven Speilberg!
Produced by Peter Jackson!
TINTIN!
YAY!



Waddaya mean you've never heard of Tintin?
It's TINTIN, for fucks sake!
The greatest boy reporter (who doesn't report) ever!
The one with the funny pointy hair,
and the Snowy doggy who goes WOAH WOAH instead of WOOF WOOF!
And is friends with that drunk captain Haddock!
Who always swears BLISTERING BARNACLES!



The story is a combo of three books:
The Secret Of The Unicorn,
The Crab With Golden Claws,
But the movie stays very true to the comics' spirit.
It's like an actual Tintin comic come to life,
But with added Hollywod BOOM BOOOM ACTION!



Tintin is suitably ambiguous and goody goody,
Haddock is AWESOME (Give Andy Serkis an Oscar!)
Snowy is cute and fun! WOAH WOAH!
And Red Rackham's Treasure.
It's got Thompson and Thompson!
And Lady Castafiore!



After the movie, I wanted to read the books again,
Lots of Easter Eggs in the movie,
I only spotted King Ottovar's Sceptre,
But I recognise a few more things.
The Tintin comics were awesome!
And they're planning to make another one,
Based on Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners Of The Sun,
My favorite books! WHEEE!
HOORAY FOR TINTIN!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

At Least It Wasn't a Complete Waste Of Time



In Time.
Not a review.
Not a complete waste of time either.
Just took a bit too much time to get to the point.
Then in the end they rush rush as if out of time.



Wah everyone is 24 years old!
And got clock on their arms wan.
Got alarm clock function wan ar?
With a built in snooze function?
What about an iPod dock?
And if you lift your arm high high,
Can you get radio as well?



It's Justin Timberlake!
He's bringing sexy time back.
Er, ok maybe not.
He was a bit blah.
And his character really wasn't very interesting lor.
But at least got sexy time with Amanda Seyfried.



Oooh, Amanda Seyfried,
Foxy.
Cleavage rating 8.
Not badass enough though.
And not convinced with her character development.
But hey, who cares?
At least she's nice to look at hur hur.



I loved the idea of time being money,
And that you have to work to get time,
Just so you can live longer.
The possibilities are so intriguing.
But it seemed a bit wasted here lor.
2 hours not enough to explore everything in this world.
This would have been GREAT as a TV show methinks.



I'd love to see a crime procedural based on this idea.
With Cillian Murphy's Timekeeper in the lead.
He was pretty awesome.
Or even a ghetto gangster movie,
Focusing on the Minute Men gang
Oooh, and how about a Mad Men-styled 'retro' show,
About how that creepy rich guy got so much time?



Yeah, this wasn't a complete waste of time,
But I feel they didn't spend enough time on the idea.
The world had SO many possibilities,
And the details they put in was really good.
But didn't spend enough time exploring it properly.
A TV show would have been MUCH better.
Will it ever happen?
Well, only time will tell.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Beer Of The Week: Ho Ho Sapporo!



Hmmm, two Japanese Beers of The Week in a row. Oh well, I've always found Japanese beer to be quite nice anyway. I have fond memories of this particular brand, as I remember visiting the Sapporo Museum when I was in Tokyo where they had a nice six flight beer tasting thingy for only about RM20 (can't remember exactly how much though, but it was cheap!).

Anyway, Sapporo (which is the oldest beer brand in JApan, apparently) was recently launched officially in Malaysia, and is also available on tap at Bar Madrid, Jaya One.

I quite like this one, which is their premium beer. Funnily enough, this particular awesome looking can also says it was brewed in Canada, which is a bit strange, but at least the beer is still pretty good. It's got a nice light citrus-y nose, and tastes a little citrus-y sweet as well. For this kind of style of beer, I'm still partial to Suntory Premium Malt though, but for a lager, this is still pretty good.

I don't really know where you can get this can though, but the draught in Bar Madrid is also pretty good, so do check it out next time you're there!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Noel Was The Heart And Soul of Oasis, Liam Was Just The Mouth



Ever since Oasis broke up, we've all been waiting for the two Gallagher brothers to come up with their much-hyped solo releases. Liam was first out of the blocks with his new band, Beady Eye, which is pretty much just Oasis without Noel (the other two members of Beady Eye were also in Oasis), releasing Different Gear, Still Speeding in April.

At first listen, Beady Eye sounded like Oasis, though that was pretty much probably because Liam was the lead singer of Oasis after all. Then you start listening to the songs properly, and although they were decent, I somehow felt they just did not measure up to what Oasis use to come up with (even during their lesser albums like Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants and Be Here Now). My favorite out of the whole album was probably The Beat Goes On, which ironically was quite Noel-esque in nature. The rest sounded like Liam was trying to sound macho and trying TOO hard to prove that he was better than his brother.

Then, came Noel's High Flying Birds. And the difference was clear. Noel's songwriting is DEFINITELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT the stronger of the two brothers, and it shows. The songs may be gentler than Beady Eye's, but the melodies are splendid, and the lyrics certainly kick Liam's ass soundly. Sure, his singing voice might not have that 'raw madchester' thing Shaolintiger thinks Liam's has, but it certainly is no pushover either.

Besides, if you think about it, I personally think one of the greatest songs Oasis has ever recorded was Don't Look Back In Anger... which was written AND sung by Noel Gallagher. And every other hit the band had, especially on their firsts two albums Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Yup, ALL written by Noel Gallagher. (The only Liam-penned song I REALLY like is Songbird. The rest were pretty shite).

Anyway, I tried an experiement where I put both albums in the same playlsit and shuffled it, and I found that the songs I skipped the most were the Beady Eye ones. Conclusion? Sorry Liam, you may have been the band's voice and attitude, but Noel was the true heart and soul of Oasis.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Jackie Chan's 100th Movie is Not a Jackie Chan Movie



1911
辛亥革命

Not a Review
It's Jackie Chan's 100th movie.
But it's not a typical Jackie Chan movie.
It's very, very serious,
And very historical and talky.
If you just wanna see Jackie fight,
You'd be pretty bored.
The only funny part of the movie,
Was when they called Penang 'Penang Pulau'
WTF.



Nope, no Jackie falling off buildings,
No Jackie fighting baddies (only one SMALL fight nia)
No Jackie being funny
No Jackie using ladders or umbrellas to fight.
Just Jackie being very serious and drama-rama.
And acting pretty well too, if I may add.



That's not saying this is a bad movie though.
It just isn't a Jackie Chan movie.
Unfortunately, everyone is talking about it like it is.
Even the pictures I found are all Jackie only.
This is almost like a documentary.
All about history and actual events.
Very educational, actually.



Anyway,
It's about the Xinhai Revolution in China,
WAAAAY back in 1911 (duh),
when they overthrew the Qing Dynasty,
which means that finally, after more than 200 years,
CHINA HAD NO MORE EMPEROR.
Very important bit of history, this.
Worth finding out more about.



Like I said, it's a serious historical epic.
I liked it because I liked all this history history stuff.
Not sure how accurate it is lar.
And I think got a fair bit of romanticizing also.
But if you just want to see Jackie Chan fight,
Go watch Police Story or Project A again.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The New 52 is Nothing Like The Old 52

IF you're a fan of comics, especially DC Comics, you would probably have heard of the DC's New 52, a completely new reboot of the DC Universe that had 52, yes FIFTY TWO, new #1s, including new takes on Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and the Jusitce League among others.

Thanks to my iPad, I've managed to get most of the titles through the DC app (and er.. other means), and have read almost every single one of the titles. I've liked some of the new titles, and hated some.



It started out with the new Justice League #01, which was interesting enough, featuring Batman, Green LAntern and Superman apparently meeting for the first time. It's an intriguing start to the new series, and I'll definitely be er.. acquiring the next issue later.

The most significant change in the New 52 BTW, is that Superman doesn't wear his underwear on the outside anymore:



Ok, there are two new Superman titles in the New 52. The one above is Grant Morrison's take on the Man of Steel, through the new Action Comics #01, where Superman is still starting out with this whole superhero shit, and is a little bit more cocky and less goody goody than you're used to seeing him. Oh, and he wears JEANS. Awesome.

Well, I loved it a lot more than Superman #01, which I thought was a little too messy for my liking:



Another comic I quite liked was The Flash #01:



I've always had a soft spot for The Flash (I've got er... THREE T-shirts with his lightning logo on em), and since the Flashpoint event was supposedly the whole catalyst for this New 52 reboot, I was interested to see how things would pan out for Barry Allan.

Turns out this is a pretty straightforward reboot for The Flash. It's not an origin story, since we meet him when he is already an established name in Central City, but he hasn't married Iris West yet, and he's running around (heh) solving some mystery involving a friend from his past.

Nothing much happening in the first issue yet, but I think I'll stick to it for now.

Now, we move on to the main event, for me at least - the BATMAN comics.



I've been on a crazy rampage through Batman's past recent comics lately, having read No Man's LAnd, Streets of Gotham, the awesome Gotham Central, Gotham Knights in quick succession, and even the frankly lousy Batman RIP and Return of Bruce Wayne arcs (Batman Inc. is pretty interesting though, I have to admit).

The New 52 is a strange one for The Dark Knight. On one hand, in Detective Comics and Batman: The Dark Knight #01, he seems to be starting a brand new arc.



In Batman & Robin #01 however, he seems to be continuing on in the main continuity , with Damien Wayne (yes, Bruce's son) as Robin. The same seems to hold true with Batman #01 as well, which was great when Bruce Wayne was shown together with all three Robins, former and present (minus Jason Todd, of course). And then, there's the OTHER Batman-related titles like Nightwing, Birds Of Prey and Huntress...

Oh, and how could I forget THIS kinky little minx?



Catwoman #01 has caused a bit of a controversy with all the sexy, scantily-clad action she gets into, and THAT sex scene at the end of it, but frankly speaking, it's CATWOMAN. You DO expect some amount of tits and asses in this title after all, though the artist seriously needs to do more er... research for the next time he draws a sex scene - I mean, HOLY HENTAI SHIT, BATMAN, whaddafuck kinda position is THAT?

Overall, I thought the whole New 52 exercise is a pretty interesting one. The main characters - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern - have pretty promising titles, while I also liked some of the lesser known ones such as Animal Man, Teen Titans, All Star Western (Jonah Hex!), Justice League International, and Justice League Dark (John Constantine FTW!). Some, like Red Hood And The Outlaws and Legion Of Superheroes are pretty bad though, and others like Captain Atom and Hawk And Dove just couldn't hold my attention.

The New 52 has definitely gotten me more interested in reading the DC titles again, and it should be interesting to see just how far the company is willing to take this. For now, some of the titles have gotten me hooked to reading comics again, and it's been great fun keeping up with the New 52 so far.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Assembly Almost Complete

Loook who's baaaackkk.....



Oh dear. But nary you fear! For where there is Loki, there will be...

THOR!!!



THOR!!!



THOORRRRR!!!!!



Ok enough Thor.

Oh wait, here he is again. Who's he fighting here?



Captain America! FUCK YEAH!



He's here to save the motherfucking day yeah!



oooh lookie lookie hubba hubba, Black Widow!



Hmmm, she looks really hot in red, short hair and black leather... hur hur hur.



Here's the boss... Mace Windu in an eye patch!



Shouldn't the bazooka be purple, Mr Fury?




Introducing... Hawkeye!



That bow looks kinda flimsy, dude. At least you know how to use it...



And HEEEERREEEE'SS Bruce Banner!



HULK SMASSSSHH!!!!!



And finally, last, but DEFINITELY not least....

IRON MAN!!!



a.k.a. genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Heh.



Put em all together, and what do you get?

Oh come on, you know what this is...



AVENGERS!!!



ASSEMBLE!!!!



(in May 2012. Pah)

BTW, click the logo to see the new trailer!