Inside Out

Intense emotional rollercoaster, with Pixar's Pete Doctor perfectly navigating a complex concept.


26th Mar 2016

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Rust and Bone

Complex French indie favourite that fails to completely engage.


17th Aug 2014

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Are you Mike D or Spike Jonze

Some good stuff in the latest Mike D-edited edition of Monster Children magazine, including the film below and a double edged driving playlist, curated by Mike D and Spike Jonze. I've only got two of the tracks in the Mike D playlist, but pretty much everything except Rock Lopster for Spike Jonze'.

Mike D, Kassia Meador, Rob Machado, Photographer Morgan Maassen
Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Diplo - Hero
Portugal. The Man - Work All Day
Jai Paul - BTSTU (demo)
Can - Sing Swan Song
Silver Apples - Lovefingers
T Rex - Life’s a Gas
Neil Young - Journey Through the Past
Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times
Soko feat. Ariel Pink - Monster Love
MIA feat. The Weeknd - Sexodus
Major Lazer - Get Free
Jai Paul - Jasmine (demo)
Cassius - I <3 U So
Brian Eno - Some of Them Are Old
Christian Tiger School - Various cuts
Darkside - Golden Arrow
Chromatics - Tick of the Clock
Kanye West feat. Bon Iver - Lost in the World
Chief Keef - Citgo
Kanye West - Blood on the Leaves
EPMD - You Gots to Chill

Spike Jonze, Ford Archbold, Alex Knost, Tanner Rozunko and cinematographer Alex Kopps
Billy Joel - The Longest Time (start a 6am drive with this and everyone is feeling pretty good)
Jane’s Addiction - Summertime Rolls
Girls - Summertime
Guided by Voices - A Salty Salute
David Bowie - Five Years
Pavement - In the Mouth a Desert
Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting on You)
The Strokes - Someday (As we got closer to the spot, we would start picking it up…)
Minor Threat - Salad Days
X - Los Angeles
Television Personalities - Part Time Punks
Velvet Underground - Lady Godiva’s Operation
Pavement - Gold Soundz
The B-52’s - Rock Lobster


5th Aug 2014 - Add Comment - Tweet

80s VHS re-imagined as 90s Arthouse

I always thiought Gleaming The Cube missed it's true status in the hierachy. Fake Criterion has a similar vibe.


15th Jan 2014 - Add Comment - Tweet

The 100 Best 100 Best Lists Of All Time

1. The 100 Greatest Singers
2. The 100 Greatest Music Videos
3. The 100 Greatest Novels Of All Time
4. 100 Best TV Shows Of All Time
5. The 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time
6. The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
7. The 100 Greatest Movie Characters
8. The All-Time 100 Greatest Toys
9. 100 Greatest Shut-Ups In Films
10. The 100 Best TV Shows For Men
11. 100 Greatest First Lines In Books
12. 100 Greatest Director Cameos
13. Top 100 Movies of All Time
14. 100 Greatest Guitar Solos
15. Top 100 Comic Book Villains
16. 100 Greatest Horror Films of All Time
17. 100 Best Apps For iPhone and Android
18. 100 Greatest Songs Of The 00s
19. 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time
20. 100 Best Graphic Novels And Comics
21. 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs
22. Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009
23. Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Movies
24. 100 Greatest Album Covers
25. Top 100 Literary Novels of All Time
26. 100 Greatest Punk Rock Songs
27. Top 100 Special Interest Movies
28. The 100 Greatest Movie Spaceships Of All Time
29. 100 Greatest Shoegaze Albums
30. Top 100 Comic Book Heroes
31. 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time
32. Top 100 Hotels & Restaurants In The World
33. 100 Best Graphic Novels Ever
34. The Best 100 Closing Lines From Books
35. The 100 Best Running Sneakers Of All Time
36. The 100 Greatest Drummers Of Alternative Music
37. 100 Greatest Television Episodes
38. The 100 Best Sneakers
39. 100 Greatest Movie Posters Of Film Noir
40. Top 100 Games Of All Time
41. The 100 Greatest Mash-Ups Of All Time
42. Top 100 Television Movies
43. The 100 Greatest Detroit Songs Ever
44. The First 100 Shoes To Cross The NYC Marathon Finish Line
45. 100 Greatest Wrestlers of The 90s
46. 101 Best Written TV Series
47. Top 100 Art House & International Movies
48. Top 100 Trailers
49. The 100 Best Games Of All Time
50, The Top 100 Global Brands
51. Top 100 Works In World Literature
52. 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
53. Top 100 Books
54. All-Time 100 Best TV Shows
55. America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses
56. 100 Greatest Drum Beats of All Time
57. The 100 Best Horror Films
58. Top 100 Most Popular Modern Pinball Machines
59. 100 Best Villains In Video Games
60. 100 Greatest Graphic Novels
61. Top 100 Animation Movies
62. Top 100 Soundtracks of All Time
63. The 100 Most Iconic T-Shirts Of All Time
64. World's Best Top 100 Bars
65. All-Time Best 100 Albums
66. 100 Best Movie Soundtracks
67. 101 Best Stomp Boxes
68. Top 100 DJs
69. 100 TV Shows That Defined The Decade
70. The 100 Greatest American Novels 1893-1993
71. Top 100 ESA/Hubble Images 
72. The 100 Favourite Novels of Librarians
73. 100 Greatest Cartoons
74. Talib Kweli's Top 100 Hip Hop Songs
75. 100 Greatest Songs Of All Time
76. The Greatest 100 Movies Ever
77. Top 100 TV Drama Series
78. All-Time 100 Gadgets
79. Top 100 Albums Of The 1990s
80. Top 100 Indie Love Songs Of All Time
81. The 100 Best T-Shirts Of The 2000s
82. 100 Best Novels of The 20th Century
83. 100 Best Movie Quotes
84. 100 Best Singles Of All Time
85. 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time
86. 100 Best British Films
87. The 100 Best Eminem Songs Of All Time
88. The 100 Most Begun "Read But Unfinished" Books
89. The 100 Most Important Art Works of the Twentieth Century
90. 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction
91. 100 Pop Culture Things That Make You Millenial
92. The 100 Greatest Entrance Themes in Wrestling History
93. The 100 Greatest Movie Soundtracks
94. Top 100 Richest People in The World
95. Top 100 Prime Numbers
96. Top 100 Most Valuable Records Of All Time
97. 100 Most Controversial Films Of All Time
98. 100 Best Opening Lines From Films
99. 100 Best Burgers In The World (OK we had to cheat a bit for this one - here's 50 Most Amazing Burger Joints in the World, and here's another 51 Great Burger Joints)
100. The Hundred Best Lists Of All Time


12th Nov 2013 - Add Comment - Tweet

Alex Cross

Dismal cop movie. Weak script, poor direction, bad casting and shocking acting. I couldn't stop watching.


13th Oct 2013

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Short Attention Span Theatre: Obey The Giant

Andre the Giant has a posse - and a film. Here's Shephard Fairey: the college years. Decent biopic short looking at how the @ObeyGiant leader got his start. For more background on the short's production head over to Short of The Week

A Special Branch production
Director: Julian Marshall 
Producer: Andrew Gisch
Director of Photography: David Vollrath
Writer: Alex Jablonski 


15th Apr 2013 - Add Comment - Tweet

Ice Cold In Alex

Classic WW2 desert rats adventure with John Mills dying for a Carlsberg in the Sahara.

Halliwell says: Engrossing desert adventure with plenty of suspense sequences borrowed from The Wages Of Fear; long, but very well presented.**


10th Mar 2013

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Trailer Park: Downloaded

While you're waiting for Bill & Ted 3, here's a longer trailer for Alex Winter's Napster doc


31st Jan 2013 - Add Comment - Tweet

Trailer Park: The East

Promising trailer for The East - the follow up to the excellent Sound of My Voice from Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling. Looks like they're stepping things up, with a cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Julia Ormond and Patricia Clarkson


25th Jan 2013 - Add Comment - Tweet

Upstream Color

Brilliant, complex, layered humanist sci-fi. In a world of its own.


21st Jan 2013

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Trailer Park: Downloaded

Alex (Bill not Ted) Winter's new doc looking at Napster... funny how olde world it all looks now


7th Dec 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

The Fourth Dimension

Full-length new compendium movie up on YouTube- first up, Harmony Korine directs Val Kilmer. On a BMX... Looks like a Vice/Grolsch team up.

via Indiewire:

Synopsis: The Fourth Dimension: where fawns are the miscreants of nature, time travel only applies to ants, and velvet is evil. Channeling the spirit of Tristan Tzara in his manifesto to deliver magic and other things, Eddy Moretti—aka the General of this cinematic synecdoche, and in other dimensions known as one of the masterminds behind Vice magazine—deploys a troika of strange and talented-as-hell directors to carry out his orders to form a more perfect union of space and time. The journey begins with Harmony Korine's new age brainchild "The Lotus Community Workshop," starring Val Kilmer as "Val Kilmer." Alexey Fedorchenko comes next with "Chronoeye," the story of a Russian time traveler whose expectations for seeing the past stifle his ability to live in the present. Fittingly, we end with the quasi-apocalyptic and ominously allegorical "Fawns," directed by Polish newcomer Jan Kwiecinski. All three directors transcend convention by challenging themselves and audiences to find something new in cinema. Together, the triptych of pieces crash but don't clash in a fashion that would make both Einstein and Eisenstein beam. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.]


26th Oct 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet


(dir. Ben Affleck)

Trenchcoats, crazy CIA plans, beards and a gripping true life hostage situation - there's a lot to enjoy in Ben Affleck's latest. Following The Town and Gone, Baby Gone, this is another assured directorial job from Affleck, here channeling the spirit of 70s classics like All The President's Men and Klute to craft an intelligent, grown-up thriller that doesn't have to resort to shoot-outs to ratchet up the tension. Bonus points for Van Halen and Led Zep on the soundtrack.

Tehran 1979: Ayatollah Khomeni's revolution is in full swing, the US embassy is stormed, 52 hostages taken - but six staff members manage to escape in the confusion and seek refuge in the Canadian embassy. Back in Washington, Carter-era spooks concoct "exfiltration" plans - with "the best bad idea" being a fake Hollywood production company scouting middle eastern locations for a Star Wars rip-off.

The film keeps the potential for any "Hollywood - so CRAZY!!" stuff to a minimum - managing to contrast it with the intensity of 70s revolutionary Tehran without resorting to Get Shorty wackiness. Max graininess in the cinematography (shot with an Arri Alexa, fact fans, as well as "on film, cut in half, blown up 200%" according to IMDB trivia) combines with actual news footage to build convincing period atmosphere. 

Affleck plays Tony Mendez, the CIA agent leading the plan, a role that plays to his strengths. The rest of the casting is spot on - Bryan "Breaking Bad" Cranston, Tate "Damages" Donovan, John Goodman as Hollywood make-up expert John Chambers (responsible for Planet Of The Apes' apes and Spock's ears), Alan Arkin, Victor Garber, Rory "Dazed And Confused" Cochrane, Titus (Lost's Man in Black) Welliver, Scoot (Monsters) McNairy and a cameo from Adrienne Barbeau in the goofy Argo cast's table read.

For more background, here's the Wired article on the actual CIA operation and the real-life fake movie. It's a great read, though obviously it's pretty much the entire plot. One nice detail that gets a little lost in the film - Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby did the original comic strip-style production drawings.


24th Oct 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

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After directing The Man With The Iron Fists, RZA is lining up to adapt Grant Morrison's graphic novel Happy! according to THR:

Happy! centers on Nick Sax, a scummy corrupt ex-cop and hit man. After a hit goes bad and Sax is left gravely injured, he is suddenly able to see Happy, a cheerful little blue horse who won’t give in to adversity, no matter what unpleasant obstacles are in the way. Days before Christmas, Sax teams up with the saccharine horse to save the life of a troubled kid and maybe find redemption amid the squalor of his city.


10th Oct 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

Trailer Park: Stars In Shorts

Good cast in this short film compilation (with a super cheesy trailer man voiceover): Lily Tomlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Jason Alexander, Val Pettiford, Julia Stiles, Marin Ireland, Kenneth Branagh, Jennifer Morrison, Sarah Paulson, Wes Bentley, Judi Dench, Penny Ryder


17th Sep 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

A Separation

Elegant, multi-sided family drama from Iran that unravels a complex mess from everyday moments.


23rd Jul 2012

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Promo Promo: Mara Carlyle - The Devil And Me

like the grammar war going on in the comments... single out July 9, Mara is playing live at The Lexington 19 June


1st Jun 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

Trailer Park: Prometheus (again)

Looks epic. Makes you realise no one has done good sci-fi with decent actors and a script for a while... Only downside so far is Luther's dodgy Texan accent.

Totally different vibe international trailer here. Another IMAX trailer here. Viral clue here. Ridley & Lindelof Q&A here.

Via AICN, who note the similarity to the original Alien trailer.


18th Mar 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet


Decent if overlong stab at over-articulate/awkward teen romcom set on Welsh coast. Good OST from Alex Turner.


3rd Aug 2011

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Trailer Park: Battleship

Trailer up for Battleship. I've got a lot of time for director Peter Berg and star Alexander Skaarsgard, but this looks about as stupid as you would imagine a movie based on a board game to be. 


29th Jul 2011 - Add Comment - Tweet

Dude Ranch

Want to live like The Dude? Marty's entire 6 house complex in Venice is up for sale, inlucding The Dude's 1 bedroom bungalow. Rug not included.

The 6 x 1 bedroom house complex runs up an estimated asking price of $2,295,000. Anyone want to chip in?

If we're lucky they might throw in some of these replica Dude sweaters.


29th Jul 2011 - Add Comment - Tweet

Trailer Park: The Descendants

George Clooney in a new Alexander Payne drama.


26th May 2011 - Add Comment - Tweet

Best Use Of Facebook So Far

Photoshopping your Facebook friends' faces - it's a meme waiting to happen


21st Mar 2011 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

The Baader Meinhof Complex

Endless, shapeless biopic of the 70's West German terrorist group. Lacking in suspense.


9th Mar 2011

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Short: Bistro

"A surreal dark comedy about hunger." The Thick Of It writer Sean Gray has roped in Peter Capaldi and Alex MacQueen for this dining short


12th Oct 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

May The $$$ Be With You

In possibly the first bit of exciting Star Wars news for 10 years, Darth Lucas has announced that the original trilogy will be released on Blu-ray in Fall 2011.

The unaltered original trilogy is now being referred to as the 'classic trilogy' by Lucas, in a not dissimilar way to how Coke back-pedalled out of their new recipe fiasco in the 80's. He has previously put them down as 'workprints' for the eventual grand-vision cartoony versions he released in the 90's and re-tweaked in the 00's.

Of course it was obvious that he would re-jig the films back to their 'classic' state at some point, so if the franchise hasn't been poisoned for you too much this may hopefully be the first time you can get the original films in any kind of decent format. Or more decent than the 90's Laserdisc box at least.

All this info is coming from the Star Wars Celebration V convention being held this weekend, which is providing all sorts of tidbits, articles, links and clips:

There was also a screening of one of several deleted scenes that will appear on the Blu-Ray as bonus material. The originally planned opening for ROTJ (below) shows Luke receiving bad vibes from Vadar, while building his own lightsaber and hiding it inside R2D2 - a trick that paid off later in the film. Back when kids couldn't watch the films whenever they wanted I was sure this was the opening to the film - probably as it was in the novelization of the film that I had as an 8-year-old geek. The same goes for Luke watching the space battle at the start of Star Wars through  his binoculars.

Nearly all via La Times or AICN

UPDATE: Woodward & Bernstein might suggest a second source on this. AICN is talking original, original trilogy. No one else is that specific. Lucas just talks about the 'highest picture and audio quality' and how the old versions needed a lot of re-mastering, but doesn't actually specify if Han shoots first.... Whatever. Pick 'em up in the 2012 HMV Biggest Summer Sale Ever.


15th Aug 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

Jerk With A Bomb

Death To False Metal

Last week's Black Mountain gig sent me into a completist spin of Black-Mountain-Army-MP3-domination and as a result I dug up this previously overlooked, very early Jerk With A Bomb album. Before Pink Mountaintops and before Black Mountain it was just One Easy Skag and the Silo - AKA Stephen McBean and Joshua Wells.

While later JWAB efforts - 2001's The Old Noise and 2003's Pyrokenesis - have their moments (Pyrokenisis in particular with stellar stand-outs Fine Health Is At Home and the sublime To The Graves), both could be considered relatively patchy affairs. Death To False Metal on the other hand aims a little lower but maintains a solid, consistent level of entertainment - as well as a healthy live feel. You could imagine these two turning up at your BBQ and wowing the camp fire crowd with this whole album.

That's not to say it's all at one note - and This Broken Heart, New Wave Is Dead and particularly Half Mast provide some momentous highlights. Sure, it's still a lo-fi affair, but the passion and fury unleashed on some of the tracks is astounding and the record serves as a welcome early warning of Stephen McBean's deep reservoir of song-writing talent, not to mention Joshua Wells' epic drumming.

Listen in full over at CBC Radio 3 (Track 5 onwards is this album, the first 4 are from the 2 later albums).


23rd Jul 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

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Film A Day In Your Life

Ridley Scott is flexing his advertainment muscles again, this time with the help of Kevin MacDonald for an LG-Sponsored project with YouTube: LIFE IN A DAY.

It's a pretty neat and simple concept - film your day and the 'most compelling and distinctive footage' will be assembled into a film documenting 24 hours on Earth, which is slated to be screened at The Sundance Film Festival. Not bad.

The only problem is what to do during your day in order to make it into this crowd-sourced Koyaanisqatsi. I had a day in front of the TV pencilled in, but that isn't going to impress anybody. I just might have to fake doing something interesting.

Some FAQs here.


22nd Jul 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

Black Mountain

The Lexington, London

With a new album on the way and a slew of festival dates lined up, Canada's 2007/8 chimprock staple Black Mountain were back in town for an intimate gig at the perfectly-sized Lexington in preparation for this weekend's Latitude festival.

Pastiche-heavy new song Radiant Hearts opened the show, before new album highlight Wilderness Heart moved the band quickly into a higher gear, storming though In The Future classics Evil Ways, Tyrants, plus Old Fangs, Rollercoaster and Let Spirits Rise from the new record.

Sadly, sound problems slowly encroached into the show -with McBean's increasingly problematic amp hampering the real growth of the performance. While the rest of the band made valient efforts to paste over the cracks - with an extended jam allowing some roadie tech action, before McBean stepped back in with a blistering riff, only to be denied again. Lightning Dust star Amber Webber's wailing vocals provide a much more pronounced appearance when seeing the band live and she provided a real focus for tonights show, holding the stage like a modern day Grace Slick. The keyboard-heavy sounds of the new album also got plenty of time in the spotlight via Jeremy Schmidt, while Joshua Wells' incredible drumming stole the show on several occasions - with the robotic licks of Tyrants never failing to deliver a spine-tingling thrill.

Ultimately, the sound issues were too much to overcome, and like a (muscle) car without gas, Steve McBean sloped off unfulfilled. However, some quick tweaks from a roadie and the band were back for a super-charged encore. The newer big hitters were nearly done, but the super-sub of Stormy High saw the band roar back into action, before chunky live versions of Druganaut and Don't Run Our Hearts Around brought the band's self-titled debut album back into the favourites list.

It would take a lot more than bad electrics to keep these guys down ...and I suspect their the following night may have been unbelievable. Tonight we just had to be satisfied with awesome.


15th Jul 2010 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Ad Nauseum: Flake

It might not sell a lot of chocolate, but it caught my attention. Sure, Cadbury's new ad from agency Fallon is a total re-make of the film from Alexander McQueen's A/W 2006 catwalk show, which projected a Kate Moss version of the film in front of the audience - but it's made by the same director (Baillie Walsh), so it gets a pass.


18th Jun 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

More Mountain Wilderness

More album and tour info from Black Mountain...

Wilderness Heart will be released by Jagjaguwar on September 13th. Tracklist for the 10 track album will consist of:

1. The Hair Song
2. Old Fangs (download it here)
3. Radiant Hearts
4. Rollercoaster
5. Let Spirits Ride
6. Buried By The Blues
7. The Way To Gone
8. Wilderness Heart
9. The Space Of Your Mind
10. Sadie

The band are playing two low-key shows at The Lexington in July, followed by some festivals and now another London show at Shepherd's Bush in October.

11th - Kinross - T in the Park Festival
13th - London - Lexington - SOLD OUT
14th - London - Lexington - SOLD OUT
16th - Southwold - Latitude Festiva

4th - Oxford - Academy
5th - Birmingham - Hare & Hounds
8th - Brighton - Concorde
10th - Isle of Wight - Bestival
11th - Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset - End Of The Road Festival
12th - Leeds - TJs Woodhouse Club
14th - Glasgow - Oran Mor
15th - Manchester - Academy 3
16th - Nottingham |Rescue Rooms

7th - London - Shepherds Bush Empire

Support will come from the mighty Ladyhawk for the Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Nottingham shows. Tickets for the headline shows are a very reasonable £11, except for a still reasonable £14 in London. Tickets available here.


15th Jun 2010 - Add Comment - Tweet

James Murphy & Various Artists

Greenberg Soundtrack


Arranged and composed by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy this soundtrack to Noah Baumbach's film is a fantastic mix of genres, tempos and moods. Kicking off with The Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner this features many heavyhitters, the highlights being Galaxie 500 and Duran Duran surprisingly. But the real delights, unsurprisingly, come from Murphy himself. This is obviously the perfect vehicle for him to flex muscles not permitted in his day job. And these muscles conjure up a more thoughtful and etherial sound comprised of minimal song structures and reflective, fragile vocals. The whole collection is perfectly conceived and further illustrates Murphy's dominance of everything creative in the whole world ever.


4th Jun 2010 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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