RED WANTING BLUE

RED WANTING BLUE These Magnificent Miles CD/DVD (Fanatic)

I will shamelessly confess to the fact that there was a moment in the DVD documentary that I had to stop and basically broke down in tears. The culprit? The Red Wanting Blue track Finger In The Air, along with the band members talking about what that song was all about.

They say, “give up and go back where you belong/Dreaming’s for the dead, kid, the road is too long”/Middle finger in the air, I’m still here/Egging them on…

For every dreamer who’s ever had to fight for what they believe in, this song resonates powerfully and it fit perfectly with the story that unfolded on this simple yet touching documentary.

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GEEK OUT! ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

Directed and written by George Nolfi

Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt

Based on iconoclastic sci-fi writer Philip K Dick’s short story, Adjustment Team, Adjustment Bureau contains star power and an interesting premise but in the end is poorly conceived and executed. In Dick’s short story, the protagonist discovers by accident that the world is not what it seems to be. Behind the scenes, white-robed men make “adjustments” to the world to correct certain anomalies to the grand design. You can read the short story (legally, it’s in the public domain) here. You probably recognize the influence of this premise in sci-fi films like Dark City and Matrix, even in the Fringe TV series.

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GEEK OUT!

V1K1 teaser trailer

Finally a Singapore sci-fi flick to geek out about. From the wild imagination of director Tzang Merwyn Tong.

WHAT WOMEN WANT

How much you’d enjoy the new Chinese remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson film, What Women Want, largely depends on how much you’d enjoy seeing a topless Andy Lau prance around in drag. 

Does the idea of that turn you off? Then this glossy romantic comedy starring Andy Lau and Gong Li would probably fall short of your expectations. If you’re looking for a passable date movie, however, this low-calorie fluff flick has just enough humour and sex appeal to fill an hour and a half or so.

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GEEK OUT!

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

Initial images have been released for the upcoming Matthew Vaughn-helmed X-flick (above). The picture shows the early X-Men in costumes resembling the original comic books (although why is Mystique part of the original X-Men is beyond me). Also prominent are Jennifer Jones’ Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw (as the Hellfire Club plays a key role). At front of both “sides” are Magneto (Michael Fassbinder, left) and non-bald Prof X (James McAvoy, right). Is that the Beast or Nightcrawler lurking in the middle? Frankly, I am not looking forward to this at the moment. I will need to see the first trailer to allay my fears.

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GEEK OUT!

THE GREEN HORNET

Until the latest film adaptation directed by Michel Gondry and starring Seth Rogen (!), the best known incarnation of Green Hornet (in recent memory) was of course the 60s TV series, starring Van Williams as the titular hero and the legendary Bruce Lee as sidekick Kato. But in actual fact, Green Hornet began life as a radio series back in the mid-30s (even before Superman and Batmen were created) in the heyday of pulp fiction. The success of the radio series led to adaptations of the Green Hornet into movie serials and comic books.

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PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME

When I was a kid, I used to love to watch fantasy movies which featured the special effects of Ray Harryhausen. Most notably, the Sinbad movies viz. Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, the Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad & the Eye of the Tiger. In 2010, two films sought to re-create the dynamic of Harryhausen fantasy epics. Clash of the Titans was of course an actual remake of a Harryhausen flick but in my view failed miserably to even improve on the pedestrian original. And whilst Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a computer game adaptation, it’s tone and style were closer to those classic Sinbad movies of yore.

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VELVET REVOLVER

VELVET REVOLVER Live in Houston (Eagle Rock)

This DVD – featuring a live recording of a VR gig in 2005 – seems a little bit of a retrograde move for the band, considering that lead singer Scott Weiland left in 2008 (to reform Stone Temple Pilots) and the the band is auditioning new vocalists. Of course, the irony is that VR guitarist Slash and STP will be performing in Singapore with back to back shows very soon. Sheer coincidence, I am sure. But who knows, maybe Weiland will be the ‘new’ VR singer again!

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GEEK OUT!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer

Jack Sparrow is back! The rock ‘n’ roll pirate, portrayed by Johnny Depp by channeling Rolling Stone Keith Richards, carried a trilogy of highly successful movies for Walt Disney Pictures. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the franchise is continuing with this fourth installment.

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MEGADETH

MEGADETH Rust In Peace Live (Universal)

How times have changed.

Once upon a time, no band would be caught dead playing only ‘old’ songs at a concert without performing any new material whatsoever. If any band did so, it would lose all credibility and be dismissed as an “oldies” band. The Beach Boys, since the 80s, is a good example of this.

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THE SOCIAL NETWORK

The problem with making a movie about events that occurred only six years ago is that the people involved are in a good position to find fault with the representation of such events. Since director David Fincher chose to use real names and events in The Social Network (colloquially known as the Facebook movie), without any qualifications, a movie goer is going to take the story presented here as fact.

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SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK

If you’ve seen and loved the movies, Human Nature, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation, because of their delightfully written stories then like me, you are a Charlie Kaufman fan. Kaufman was the screenwriter for all these films and Synecdoche, New York marks his debut also as director.

Perhaps that is why Synecdoche, New York is the most un-commerical of all Kaufman’s movies thus far (and that is saying something). Truth is, depending on your perspective, the two hour long film will probably be the best or the worst you’ve ever seen. Me? I am trying to stay on the fence of that particular argument.

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GEEK OUT!

HANNA

The title character of this adventure thriller, filmed in Europe, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. (from Wikipedia)

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GEEK OUT!

THOR: TEASER TRAILER

I liked the 5-minute Comicon trailer that was leaked online months ago so it was a no-brainer to also like this official teaser trailer for next year’s Marvel Studio’s blockbuster of our fave Norse God of Thunder. The trailer basically shares the same opening sequence of Thor being questioned by Agent Coulsen (of SHIELD) before moving over to Asgard wherein Odin banishes Thor. We also see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, the Destroyer and Thor in full battle action. Those fight sequences look quite awesome, filled with Kirbyesque power! Yum.

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BEE GEES

BEE GEES In Our Own Time DVD (Eagle Rock)

I have been a Bee Gees fan for as long as I have been a lover of pop-rock music. I was hooked to them the moment I heard those wonderful songs on the soundtrack on the S.W.A.L.K. movie. So most of what is detailed in this latest documentary on Bee Gees history is nothing new to me. Except perhaps the TV clips of the very early days in Australia.

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GEEK OUT!

SUCKER PUNCH

What to make of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch? Well, based on the teaser trailer and this recently released featurette (see below), it looks like a geek’s wet dream. Combining every conceivable genre imaginable (you name it, Sucker Punch’s got it!), it comes across like a “something for everyone” deal. Of course, the cynics (you know who you are) will point to the film’s overwhelming stylized visual sheen and wonder if it’s nothing more than form over substance. Remains to be seen, I guess. Snyder has always been strong on the overall visuals but he is no slouch in the storytelling department either. So based on 300 and Watchmen, I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sucker Punch will be released in March 2011.

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A PAGE OF MADNESS WITH THE OBSERVATORY

The National Museum of Singapore held a media preview for the screening of A Page of Madness/Kurutta Ippeiji, a Japanese silent movie from 1926, with original score written and performed by The Observatory. Frankly, I did not know what to expect. When I walked into the venue, The Observatory was seated in the “pit” so to speak in front of the screen. Then the lights went out…

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BEST OF 2010

Yes, it’s probably strange that I am making Cheating Sons‘ magnificent debut LP – Masters, Wives, Daughter – the album of 2010, when you consider that it will only be released in 2011! But hey, it’s the best collection of new music that I have heard in 2010 so it’s perfectly logical. Reviews to come and all that, expect great things from this amazing band in 2011.

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THE DARK KNIGHT DVD

The Dark Knight (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy)

The biggest movie of 2008 is worth watching more than once and you can do so now with the DVD release. This sequel to Batman Begins outdoes its predecessor in so many ways, that it’s easy to forget that Batman Begins was a great film in its own right. I’ve review the film elsewhere on Power of Pop but suffice to say that watching the film over again, one realizes that the the late Heath Ledger steals every single scene he is in.

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IRON MAN

Iron Man marks Marvel’s first self-developed and self-financed film (in a ten-film deal with Paramount) and the way that this Jon Favreau-directed, Robert Downey-starred blockbuster translates the comic book so successfully onto the big screen augers well for the other Marvel films to come.

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