Monday, 23 August 2010

Tarja Turunen - 'Until My Last Breath' Music Video released

The new video from Tarja Turunen's second solo album is now available to view. The former Nightwish singer's new album, "What Lies Beneath" certainly seems to be an improvment on "My Winter Storm" from what I've heard of it so far.

I thought MWS was a largely fantastic album, but there were parts that didn't really gel for me, and I always felt the guitars weren't chunky enough for the songs.

It would seem that issue has now been remedied, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the album when it arrives in the UK at the start of next month.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

FILM RATINGS: IS THE BBFC BEING TOO LENIENT WITH 12A?

I just got back from watching the new Angelina Jolie film SALT (Click here for my review), and really enjoyed it. Something that struck me though is just how inappropriate the rating was for the film. In the UK it has been given a 12A certificate, meaning that children under 12 can see the film if accompanied by an adult. This is wrong.

Other films where this has been the case include recent smash hit INCEPTION and the massive juggernaut that was THE DARK KNIGHT. All of these films have featured a huge amount of violence, and while I won't condemn the action (y'know, seeing as I love action movies, horror and all manner of other cinematic mayhem), I find that I must take issue with the use of the 12A rating.

The 12A rating was brought in for the first SPIDER-MAN movie, which was much less bloody and harrowing than the three films I have mentioned above. That film was just about right for a 12A, yet Salt, Inception and The Dark Knight would have all been more appropriately rated as 15 certificate films. There is the argument that 'Oh, kids see and hear much worse at home', but that is NO EXCUSE AT ALL.

Part of the problem there is that parents and guardians are not taking enough notice of the things they put their children in front of. In the case of The Dark Knight, it's a film based on a comic, so yeah, it must be fine. Arrrrgh! it's a comic about a mentally unbalanced billionaire beating up even more unhinged psychopaths.

What about Inception? The plot is far too complicated for the minds of many children, and while the idea of invading dreams is very cool indeed, there are some very harrowing images in that film. It should have been a 15. Salt likewise. Another recent example would be THE LOSERS. Again, great film, but that had even more violence, bad language and onscreen injuries. I mean, why would anyone let a small child watch a film in which one of the heroes is shot in the knees onscreen?

Giving these films a 12A certificate may well bring in some more money to cinemas, but it is also filling children's heads with even more inappropriate content than they already get. I'd like to call the BBFC out on this: How are you justifying these ratings, and why weren't these films at least either a 12 or a 15?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Rooney Mara cast As Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

(Rooney Mara in the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street)

The American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has finally found the all-important cast member. The part of expert hacker and socially inept genius Lisbeth Salander has been given to near-newcomer Rooney Mara. Who? Rooney played the part of Nancy in the recent remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street. While I am still yet to be convinced that there is any point to a remake of the film based on Stieg Larsson's massively popular novel, I am intrigued by this casting news.

The Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo starred Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist, and seeing as the novel was about Swedish people and set in Sweden, then I'd say that version is the definitive one.


(Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of the Millenium trilogy)

This remake is to be directed by David Fincher, which is a good start, and with Daniel Craig cast as Blomkvist (I wonder if the character's name will be changed...) it has potential, but the part of Lisbeth Salander is the key. The character is extremely complicated, disturbed, volatile and unpredictable, and hopefully that can be conveyed in an English language remake with Hollywood production values.

It is a very European novel with very European characters, and I am eager to see how well it translates. Previous names that had been linked to the part included Ellen Page, Natalie Portman and Emma Watson, none of whom would have fit Salander's characteristics or what she goes through during the film (I can't imagine any of them being put through ***SLIGHT SPOILER*** what Nils Bjurman does to Lisbeth ***SPOILER ENDS***, for example).

There will be many fans to whom Noomi Rapace is the one and only true screen version of Lisbeth (especially as all three books have already been released as movies in Sweden with Noomi in the role), but there will be yet more to whom Rooney Mara is Lisbeth. I hope she does the book, the fans and Larsson's legacy proud.

The trailer for the UK release of the Swedish version:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

In This Moment - "A Star Crossed Wasteland"

In This Moment
“A Star Crossed Wasteland”
Genre: Modern Metal
Century Media

Aw man, I've been looking forward to this one. In This Moment are one of the most exciting and compelling rock/metal bands in existence today, and they have made a very wise move with their third album. This excellent new disc fuses the heaviness of their debut (“Beautiful Tragedy”) with the melodic elements of their second effort (“The Dream”) to great effect. From the moment that 'The Gun Show' kicks in properly, you know that the band are taking no prisoners this time round.

Maria Brink and the guys have created an album that is extremely well rounded, with enough metallic chaos to satisfy the fans of the first album and enough soaring choruses to thrill those that preferred “The Dream”. “A Star Crossed wasteland” is a lean, fat-free album offering ten new songs that encapsulate everything that is great about In This Moment. You have Maria Brink's incredible vocals, the amazingly tight rhythm section of Jeff and Kyle, the razor sharp guitars of Chris and Blake, the melodies, the riffs, the screams, the machine gun beats- the works.

'Just Drive' is about as perfect an ITM song as it gets, both harsh and heavenly, while 'The Promise' and 'Standing Alone' continue the album's contrasting elements in fine style. The title track is a little more reminiscent of stuff from "The Dream", but this is no bad thing as the balance has been struck perfectly on this album and fans won't be left wondering where the balls went. 'Blazin', 'The Road', 'Iron Army' and 'The Last Cowboy' all display a level of confidence and power that could only have been developed via the band's rigorous touring and dedication to both their art and their fans.

The only weak spot on the album is the closing track, 'World In Flames', as even though it is by no means a bad song, it is a little generic. So finally the people who have doubted In This Moment since they burst onto the scene can be silenced. This is a band that has a long career ahead of them, and a lot more incendiary music to come. It's the perfect length, the perfect balance of styles, and the perfect purchase for any fan.

9.5/10

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Carnival of Souls: You need to see it.



There are few classic horror films that have had such a profound effect on me as a fan of weird cinema than the 1962 masterpiece Carnival of Souls, and I really wish that the awful 1995 remake didn't exist.

The original is brilliant, and 99% percent of the chills are down to the atmosphere alone. The film is in the Public Domain now, and thanks to the Internet Archive, you can watch the whole thing for free (or indeed download it completely legally).

You can easily find the film on DVD for a pittance these days, but if you've never seen the film before, check out the embed below.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Guild- "Game On" Music Video

The Guild is a beautiful thing. We know this. Thankfully, the guys behind The Greatest Web Series Ever Made are also into creating some hilarious music videos (attached to very catchy geek flavoured songs). The first was the infamous '(Do you wanna date my) Avatar', and now here is 'Game On', a Bollywood styled extravaganza.



Dear Felicia Day and the gang: Myself and my kind are most pleased that you exist.

SKETCH86.com - Awesome Geek Shirts At Awesome Prices


I am a t-shirt addict. This much is clear when you take a look at the overpacked wardrobe in our bedroom. It's stuffed with geek t-shirts, comic book shirts, metal band shirts and, yes, a few that don't have anything on them.

I keep meaning to photograph them all for a folder of shame on facebook or something, but that's another post. The point is, I am addicted, and I'm loving every second of it. The internet is a wonderful thing for t-shirt addicts like me, and one off my favourite sites is Sketch86.com (part of Viper Comics), where you can find a small but perfectly formed selection of geek and geek-friendly shirts.

Their stuff is mainly based around indie comics titles (such as the awesome Dead @ 17), but there are some that are just flat out cool, such as the CAUTION- PUBLISHERS AT PLAY shirt. This morning another two shirts arrived from Sketch86 in the US, namely the comics related 'THE MODERN AGE' shirt and a DEAD@17 shirt.

The shirts are great quality, the prices are LOW (even lower right now due to a summer sale), the postage is very reasonable and FAST (even to the UK). Why am I telling you this? Because I urge you to check out their wearable wares and treat yourself to something cool.