tried and true…

A few weeks back we had a delightful Metal weekend. So delightful that when it was over I decided that this would be the year that I finally attend Wacken! Until I saw that the plane tickets alone would cost over $1000. No Wacken Open Air for me this year.

AnvilAnyway, the point is that we finally saw Anvil: The Story Of Anvil! What a great film! I knew that it was billed as a true life Spinal Tap about some Canadian metal band, but that was it. I actually hadn’t ever heard of them when the movie came out (even though it is my favorite era/style of music) and now I really can’t understand why. The band is just great! And even after staying smewhere near the bottom for all of these years, they have continued work their day jobs, release albums and fight the good fight, Anvilling whenever they get the chance. Of course, this is not to say that it doesn’t have its Spinal Tap aspects… A long lasting metal band hoping to get a big increase in popularity sets out on an ill fated tour that just falls apart as it progresses during which the two focal members of the band have a tiff and one walks out. all against a background of lots of interviews.

In 1984 Anvil toured Japan with some big names in Metal/Hardrock and in the movie they make a big deal about this “SuperRock Tour” and how the other bands on the tour all got really big… But on hearing about it, the reason that comes to mind for this is that most of those other bands already sucked pop-rock ass (Bon Jovi, Whitesnake), or learned to suck pop-rock ass to get rich (Scorpions, Metallica)… Anvil has stayed Metal (based on the movie and what music I’ve heard) and, um, Trve. In fact, in the scenes they show from SuperRock, they have a decidedly Venom appearance. You can’t get much more metal than that. But, sadly, I seem to have lost the screen caps that I made… They must be around here somewhere…

The movie was actually inspiring and I ended up getting a bunch of their albums after watching this and was not disappointed. I would most recommend Metal On Metal.

Anvil Metal on Metal

Anyway, I highly, highly recommend seeing Anvil: The Story Of Anvil. Even if you don’t like Metal. Hell, even if you hate it! It’s a great movie, and it’s fun and touching and they are actually a pretty damn good band.

Metal: A Headbanger's JourneyOf course, after that we had to follow it up with yet another viewing of Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. Anthropologist (and Headbanger) Sam Dunn’s story of personal Metal fandom blended with an overview of Metal culture and some exciting interviews (the Trve Kvlt gods in Norway, Dio in L.A. and at Wacken, and the Tattooed Millionaire himself at Hammersmith Odeon). This movie is always a good time! And it is another great documentary that has appeal even for those who could care less about the music. Keep you eyes peeled for the high points (Gaahl’s dramatic voice of support for Satan, Necrobutcher getting upset at Wacken) and just let the low points pass by (Alice Cooper’s tiring “They all copied me, I did it first” monologues and the irritating inclusion of Slipknot).

criminal misconduct…

A month ago, while perusing youtube in the search for new trailers to watch, I decided to watch the trailer for Avatar. Now, I don’t know if it just looked like crap because of the quality of the trailer. But it looked like crap. You know, like a ridiculously storied, thoughtlessly actioned, crappily animated disaster. Well, just bad. Of course, as it was rolling towards the billion dollar mark, I had the luck to stumble upon a trailer for the newest Terry Gilliam film. Well, well well.

It, of course, it looks utterly fascinating and brilliant and, as is the case with Gilliam’s films, it is certainly doomed to lose vast sums of money. While the lack of popularity of his films causes me to lose no small measure of respect for humanity, the thought that there are studios out there that are willing to put tens of millions of dollars into his hands to make movies knowing damn sure that they won’t ever make any of it back, gives me some level of nice feeling that there must be some people of character in Hollywood (or at least wanting to make their resume look like it has character). for some folks, who, unlikely as it might seem, I assume are studio executives.

Which leads me to think that while most may be unable to realize what a treasure we have in Gilliam, at least I am not alone in realizing that he its the greatest film director ever (or, at least, the greatest crafter of films), on par with Kubrick, who actually has more movies on “the best dozen films ever” list (Gilliam ties Ridley Scott, but Scott has put out some swill that drops him a notch). Gilliam has not a swill under his belt (except for maybe the Brothers Grimm, which is the only one that I haven’t seen… Aside from this new one).

The tally from “The 11 Greatest films of all time list”, for those who are curious:

Kubrick – 3
Gilliam – 2
Scott – 2
Friedman – 1
Leone – 1

Oh yes, and the films themselves:

Alien (Scott)
The Adventures of The Baron Munchhausen (Gilliam)
Brazil (Gilliam)
A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
The Exorcist (Friedman)
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Leone)
The Thing (Carpenter)
Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick)
(This is) Spinal Tap (Reiner)
Wizard of Oz (Fleming)
The Shining (Kubrick)
Blade Runner (Scott)

mind the mind with crutches…

Seriously? Two months with no post? I know that I’m in school and everything, but come on… I’m still watching movies, I should be able to cough up a couple of minutes here while these things are fresh in my mind.

One day, maybe. For now, here is some stuff that isn’t fresh in my mind any longer…

Annie Hall. One of my favorite Woody Allen movies, which makes it one of the best comedies of all time. Of course, yes, the Annie character is oh so very irritating, but Woody is, of course, his usual delightful self.

Pal Joey. Sinatra as the selfish, irresponsible and trouble-making singer who drags a couple of girls up and down along the way (Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak as, respectively, a wealthy ex-stripper widow and a “nice girl”) as he pursues his dream of owning his own club. yeah, he’s a jerk, but it’s a pretty fun movie. And it star Frank Sinatra.

School of Rock. Again. Well yes, a comedy with a heart. And it’s pretty entertaining and Jack Black is great.. And there are some nice soundtrack selections. But I’ve said all of this before.

Bleak House. The new one and I think it’s pretty great. Gillian Anderson does a good job (except for that I can’t stopped calling her Scully). I love Denis Lawson and Anna Martin in it, and I would say that they are the high points except for that everyone else does such a damned good job! Charles Dance as Talkinghorn, Burn Gorman as Mr. Guppy, Timothy West as Sir Dedlock… Just a great cast all around. The trouble is that I find the cinematography to be very obnoxious. The camera zipping around and hiding and filming through doorways. It’s all rather bothersome.

Dirty Dancing. I can’t believe that I actually saw this, after avoiding it for so many years. No, it’s nothing that I ever wanted to see… But it’s actually not bad.

Minority Report. Yes, again. I do like this one. Tom Cruise remains one of the great overrated movie stars (as I think that any movie with him would probably sell as many [if not more] tickets without him), but this is still a great “Social Sci-fi” movie.


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