Blockbuster-by-numbers as Universal clumsily attempt to build a franchise.
24th Feb 2018Read more 2 star reviews
RT @NordlingAICN: More than anything, I want the FAST AND FURIOUS movies to be in the Bandit universe. They're both Universal movies. Could…
22nd May 2013Read on Twitter
Wicked witch Charlize hires Chris "feeling a bit THOR!" Hemsworth to find Snow White Kristen Stewart in next summer's blockbuster fairytale
Despite his many zombie-esque performances in recent years, this series of interviews show that Harrison Ford is in fact still a functioning human being - even with a sense of humour. If he can just translate that to screen.
28th Mar 2011Read on Twitter
28th Mar 2011Read on Twitter
Trailer up for Get Him To The Greek, a pseudo-sequel to the amusing Forgetting Sarah Marshall and featuring Jonah Hill being sent to chaperone rock star Russell Brand from London to a gig in NYC in 72 hours. Or something. Actually could be quite funny.
Not sure about you, but I have a pretty specific idea of a what a Robin Hood movie made by Ridley Scott/ Russell Crowe might look like.
Here it is.
looks like we're in for a whole load of horror/horror spoofs over the next few months in trailer park land: get ready for Transylmania (see what they've done there? clever), The Vampire's Assistant with John C Reilly, Woody Harrelson in Zombieland, spooky babysitter thrills in The House Of The Devil and New Moon - the next part in the Twilight series
New cartoon w Steve Carrell, Russell Brand and Jemaine Clement on voice duties.
And then ....coming to the back of an airline seat near you, Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman and Jon Favreau star in the comedy Couples Retreat about a bunch of couples who head out to a retreat to work on their marriages.
Plus, Donnie Darko's R-Kelly (Richard, that is) has a third attempt to fulfill his potential - The Box.
Trailer up for Michael Mann's new movie - Public Enemies.
Heat with Tommy Guns. What's not to like?
snowed in? why not catch up on this year's Super Bowl selection of trailers - including a warp speed five Star Trek, Jack Black and Michael Cera's new caveman romp Year One, Will Ferrell and Anna Friel in Land Of The Lost ("Space-Time vortexes suck") and more big dumb truck monster action in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
more who's zooming who action with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in corporate espionage thriller Duplicity
London Conversations: The Best of Saint Etienne
It's hard to believe that Saint Etienne have been around for two decades and there is something heartwarming about their longevity, despite their obvious awkwardness. To this day, they remain something of enigma and certainly hard to pin down.
Revisiting their back catalogue is an interesting experience: although there are no revelations as such, it does give you the feeling that there is more to them than you might have thought. You could argue that there was always something of style over content about them, and that their best tune Only Love Can Break Your Heart was their debut single and not even theirs, but Neil Young's. Yet, when it works it, they can be irresistible; the early singles (Nothing Can Stop Us, Avenue) still sound completely fresh; a seamless mixture of 60's Pop, contemporary production, with their tongues slightly in their cheeks.
On subsequent singles they would sail so close to the edge of straight chart Pop, that it's indistinguishable from the 'real' thing. He's On The Phone, one of their most memorable tunes could easily be mistaken for Stock, Aitken & Waterman era Kylie Minogue (unsurprisingly they even ended up collaborating with her), which is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your point of view.
Later tracks, settle into a more laid back and cinematic sound. With which they seem to become more comfortable in their own skin; Bad Photographer in particularly is great. They took this to its logical conclusion with their album and film Finisterre and also a greater sense of documenting their London surroundings, from which this compilation draws its name.
Although it's hardly going to win over a legion of new fans, London Conversations is well worth looking at. As a compilation, it documents their evolution brilliantly and certainly paints a vivid picture of what they are: an inventive, brave band you should cherish; bless 'em.Read more 3.5 star reviews
Don Cheadle in some "the truth is complicated" CIA action, Traitor; this year's life-affirming family road trip Diminished Capacity, with Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and Virginia Madsen "people don't age like fine wine - they age like meat"; mascot-comedy Kabluey; Kiefer biding his time until the next 24 in Mirrors; Encounters At The End Of The World - trippy off-the-map stuff from Werner Herzog; new trailer and animated prologue for Hellboy II (watch out for Luke "Bros" Goss there)
Weezer (a.k.a. The Red Album)
The game is up. I'm not gonna take it anymore. Since 2000's self-titled third album (AKA "The Green Album"), Weezer have been distracting me with the smoke and mirrors of the catchy single/great video combo, while sneaking out a sub-standard album peppered with holes. Hash Pipe provided the magic for that album, while Dope Nose led off Maladroit and Beverly Hills pulled the wool over our eyes for Make Believe.
In fact, that only leaves two albums worth mentioning. The debut "Blue Album" snuck under the radar back in '94 - admittedly backed up by great videos. Follow-up Pinkerton might explain much, as it was universally panned by both critics and fans, before growing in stature to become Weezer's undisputed masterpiece - and one of my own all-time favourites. Auteur band leader River Cuomo laid bare his emotional soul over the Madame Butterfly-themed concept album, but the backlash was what almost certainly forced Cuomo back into the proverbial cave, convincing him to spend the rest of his life in tortured purgatory, writing inane troubled-pop star melodrama.
Couple that with the fact that every album since Pinkerton has made a fortune and the maths of spending a reported million dollars recording this pile of crap are hard to deny. Baring your soul for pennies is no one's idea of fun.
But, here lies the main problem. 4 albums later, while the guitars crunch onwards all he ever seems to tell us is how troubled he is and how the critics don't understand - but the more songs he writes about the critics not understanding, the shorter and shorter the patience runs. "No more words will critics have to speak" sing the band on the faux operatic The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations On A Shaker Hymn), re-working the classroom classic with little improvement. If the troubled soul isn't airing it's dirty laundry, it's mucho macho ironic chest-beating ...leading to the stunning rhyme of 'be-atch' with 'ki-ads'. While these inane rhyming couplets provide some amusiment in places, you'll generally be laughing at them, not with them.
Just when you might think Rivers' has stooped as low as he can go, he commits this albums mortal sin: letting the other guys have a go too. Thought I Knew finds guitarist Brian Bell taking the vocals for a slice of trite disco-pop, while drummer Pat Wilson takes lead vocals on Automatic. I dare you to find a more bland slice of by-the-numbers modern rock.
There's a whole bunch of different bonus tracks and what-not, depending on where you buy this record. They manage not to totally massacre a cover of The Band's The Weight and the Broadway musical rock of Miss Sweeney provides some entertaining role-playing as Cuomo smooth-talks his secretary in enjoyingly mis-rhymed lyrics. Heart Songs provides a slightly naff, but mildly touching highlight to the album, as Cuomo takes us through the songs that shaded his past, with the music changing and evolving as the time line progresses. Unfortunatly he wrote himself out of my Heart Songs several albums ago.Read more 1 star reviews
(creator Paul Feig)
Set in early 80's Michigan, Freaks & Geeks follows a group of outsiders through a year of high school. Former mathlete Lindsay attempts to up the cool stakes and graduate to hanging around with the pot-smoking Freaks, while younger brother Sam and his geek friends explore the expanding possibilities of life in high school.
Whether they're receiving surprisingly compassionate sex-ed from Coach Fredricks (Biff Tannen to you and me) or just getting a plain-old beat down from some seniors, the story lines here have universal appeal that no 80's kid could forget. In fact, I doubt a kid from any era would have trouble relating to the episodes covered - which is surprising given the relative commercial failure of the show, which was cancelled after one season despite critical praise.
While it cannot be overlooked that the show owes a massive debt to 70's slacker classic Dazed and Confused, it addresses many of that movie's shortcomings and handles a lot of the topics in a more plausible manner, providing depth to the lives of the good and bad kids and even the parents. Due to its length (18 episodes), it also allows the characters and storylines to fill out much more completely, never feeling forced when it drops in era references to the likes of Led Zeppelin or Foghat, like Richard Linklater's film so often did. Unforgettable moments include an episode where the young geeks befriend a new hottie, scored entirely by Billy Joel tracks - or a true Rocky moment when the tables are turned and the geeks get to pick the teams for school baseball - and literally catch out the jocks.
While it doesn't quite have the writing confidence that Aptow found with his small-talking pop-culture dialogue in Knocked Up, it's all pretty convincing and the acting is uniformly good. Linda Cardellini's Lindsay walks the line between wanting to get good grades vs wanted to be cool very convincingly, while the younger geeks are played with a subtlety well beyond their acting experience - John Francis Daley (as Sam) and Martin Starr (as Bill, later to play 'Cocaine Era Scorsese' in Knocked Up) in particular. James Franco also justifies his more recent A/B-List status as the occasionally troubled, always charming head Freak - Daniel Desario.
Things tail off slightly in the last couple of episodes, where you can't help feeling that the seemingly cancelled run tried to shoehorn too much in - but all in all this is expertly crafted, unmissable television.Read more 4.5 star reviews
(dir. Ethan & Joel Coen)
From their debut with Blood Simple in 1984 through to bowling classic The Big Lebowski in 1998, the Coen brothers went on a pretty much unrivalled 7 film run of non-duds. Sadly they followed this with a sequence of four films that fell far below The Dude inspired peak - from Lebowski follow up O’Brother Where Art Thou? in 2000 to the universally panned Ladykillers in 2004. After that they went on a bit of a hiatus, resurfacing briefly to contribute to Paris J’Taime - a collection of short films about a French city.
Now they are back and in some style with No Country for Old Men. Taken from the novel by Cormac McCarthy, ...Old Men opens with generally decent man of few words Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) hunting deer on the plains. Through the telescopic sight of his rifle he spies a bunch of pickup trucks and corpses, which, on closer inspection proves to be the endgame of a drug deal gone badly wrong. With a big briefcase full of money laying there without any obvious (living) owner, Moss the opportunist grabs the loot, believing he and his sweetheart back at the trailer park (Kelly Macdonald) have just stumbled upon a life changing slice of fortune.
Which is true, but not as he thinks. You see that money belongs to somebody and soon Llewelyn realises he’s got a serious problem, in the form of weird assasin Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his tail. As the tagline says “There are no clean getaways”. Throw reluctant Sherrif Tommy Lee Jones and a bunch of angry Mexicans into the mix and a bloody game of cat and mouse across the southern states and into Mexico ensues.
Whilst there are a few obvious ‘Coen Brother’ touches where they find humour in some of the darkest places (Chigurh’s haircut for example), they generally play it straight - allowing the story, scenery and performances to drive the film leisurely but efficiently over its two hour duration. In this respect it resembles the excellent The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, the Tommy Lee Jones directed revenge film from a couple of years back. Like that film, the Texan born Lee Jones once again proves himself to be a master of the actions-speak-louder-than-words old school character of the South. But it’s Spanish actor Bardem (along with his hair and possibly the biggest gun-silencer in movie history) that really steals the film, as he menacingly takes no prisoners on his pursuit of Moss and the cash.
Rightly cleaning up plaudits all over the place, No Country for Old Men is a mighty return to form for the Coen brothers. Amen to that.Read more 4 star reviews
With Warner Bros officially jumping ship from HD-DVD to Blu-Ray, it seems that the format war is close to an end - with HD-DVD looking likely to go the way of Betamax.
Universal and Paramount are the only big studios still supporting the format and speculation has it that Paramount has a specific clause in their contract to allow them to also leave if Warner Bros do. So there.
With movies downloading sure to become as big as music, it may be a fairly short lived victory.
The votes are in, with Best Of's posted by LG, CSF, Harris Pilton, BC and c71.
A quick jot down of the back of a napkin works out the most-voted-for list to be:
5. A five-way tie for fifth
Two people featured Animal Collective, Devandra Banhart, Arcade Fire, Panda Bear, Wilco and Spoon - so that's a tie.
4. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
With three votes, Kings Of Leon's third album Because Of The Times
3. The National - Boxer
The National's Boxer clocked up four votes to take third place.
2. Radiohead - In Rainbows
Radiohead's semi-seminal In Rainbows was generally approved of, taking five votes.
1. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Featuring in a pretty outstanding six lists, LCD Soundsystem's dazzling Sound of Silver had a pretty high approval. More than one in two chimps agree, so we have a winner.
That's pretty much all the decisive data. The Beastie Boys' dates in London met universal approval, as did Wilco's live show, Prince's epic residency at the O2 and Black Mountain's storming show at Cargo.
Zodiac, Knocked Up and Disturbia were the best ways to kill 91 minutes, while Death Proof is the worst film possibly ever made, and will stand as the bottom run for all future score-carding.
Flight of the Conchords was this year's unmissable TV - along with 30 Rock, Entourage and Heroes.
Happy holidays, see you down the pub for a drink later.
(creator. David Milch)
The arrival of a mysterious, verbally challenged stranger in Southern California's Imperial Beach has a profound effect on a multi-generational surfing family and the residents around a motel where they are based. Mitch Yost is out of the game and his self-indulgent behavior finds himself arguing with his overbearing wife and floating off the ground, while former champion Butchie Yost battles his junkie addictions and tries to prevent prodigy surfer son Shaun Yost signing himself away to the corporate devil of Luke Perry's "Stinkweed" surf brand.
Following David Milch's winding up of Deadwood, expectation was high for this series and it got off to a good start. The production values of the show are fantastic, with the cinematography and setting perfectly capturing the so-cal beach culture in a way that is so easy to get wrong. The acting has also been universally good, with Ed O'Neill, Luiz Guzman, Luke Perry and young surfer Greyson Fletcher putting well cast and Brian Van Holt in particular putting in a great cold-turkey laden performance trough the entire series. Rebecca De Mornay came across as obnoxious and overbearing, which hasn't won me over to her but certainly worked for the troublesome Cissy Yost.
The near Shakespearean delivery made for interesting viewing, but while the show was in some way swell written the basic momentum of the story lets things down in the end. The mood and atmosphere were almost enough to keep things going but the feeling of hoping it would all be leading to some climactic event was never realised and while the finale almost met my hopes of reaching the legendary finale of Big Wednesday, the show was been left with nowhere to go and has not been renewed for a second season.
American Hip Hop mogul (aren't they all?) Jermain Dupri has a problem with music. While it's not a patch on Steve Albini's problem with music, he has strong opinions about iTunes monopoly of the market and their refusal to sell albums as only albums. Apparently it's taken Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z to make a 'brave' stand and refuse to sell his American Gangster album through iTunes and highlight the problem ...although as noted, Radiohead have never sold their music on iTunes for this very reason and it hasn't done them any harm.
Personally I'm not sure what the problem is. iTunes was built out of nothing, in a move that was waiting to happen for years - and it was the slow moving industry that let it slip through their grasp. Jay-Z's Def Jam included.
In fact, scoot over to Wired for their article on Universal Music's CEO Doug Morris and read how Universal are planning to claw their way back in the game ...and note the pic of him rubbing shoulders with Hova himself.
From her early days as a groupie for the Sex Pistols - and the catalyst for the Bill Grundy TV meltdown - Siouxsie Sioux (and the Banshees or course) went on to become one of the most influential bands of the punk/post-punk era - cited as a major influence on bands from The Cure (Robert Smith played guitar with the Banshees for a bit) right up to LCD Soundsystem, who covered Slowdive in 2006.
Siouxsie herself went on to have success with The Creatures and in various other guises, and while this first solo album is being billed as a comeback, a quick look through the files suggests it's just getting a bigger marketing push than some of the other late-period entries.
After a fairly average start things pick up with Here Comes That Day, but with the 'spooky' atmosphere of Loveless or the 'moody' delivery of If It Doesn't Kill You, the song writing offers very little of note - with Siouxsie's strong voice seeming dated and more suited to the stage, projecting literal narrative lyrics up to the seats at the back.
Drone Zone is one of the most aptly titled songs I have heard in a while, and no, the title's not ironic. They Follow You provides a brief glimmer of light, with a nice extended instrumental intro although that is quickly overshadowed by the album's low point - Heaven and Alchemy. The title says it all.
While some of the songs on the album sound updated in some ways, they sound incredibly out of touch and tired in others - making this an unfortunately forgettable album.
couple of new trailers up: Jason Lee hanging w Alvin And The Chipmunks; more triad showdowns from new Hong Kong master Johnny To with Macao Handover thriller Exiled; another real-life adventure from the makers of Touching The Void Deepwater; and Cate Blanchett returns to let her hair down in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (surely Elizabeth II would have been easier?) Still looks like Blackadder w beefier effects.
The Bourne Ultimatum is shaping up to be another great thriller in the franchise - with the slippery agent evading the man one last time. Google can find him no problem though, over at their marketing gimmick tie-in www.searchforbourne.com. New trailer online at apple.com
You may not have heard of Leslie Feist, but you will have undoubtedly heard her in one form or another. A chameleon of the indie world, her file is about an inch thick - ranging from a stint as Peaches flat mate, through collaborations with Gonzales and Jamie Lidell to her most recognised role as a contributor to the sprawling Canadian folk collective Broken Social Scene.
With new album The Reminder, Feist is setting out on her own for the third time - although even with some major label backing things haven't solidified any more. The slightly schizophrenic style of this multi-tasker is still the main way of describing her sound (Pitchfork described it as "folky, discoy" - but even that barely scratches the surface). Slipping between heartbreaking vocals (The Park), haunting piano (The Water), and a couple of Róisín Murphy style indie-dance (some might say folky-discoy) numbers in the shape of Sealion and the slightly more focused stand-out track, single My Moon My Man.
Acoustic guitars and hand claps dominate Past In Present, which somehow reminds me of Boys Of Summer in the best possible way. "Don't look back, you can never look back!" When the dust settles however It's the sparse vocal tracks that really grab the attention here, and when the mood catches you this can be an enchanting album - with album closer How My Heart Behaves stealing the show (...not including the pointless 'bonus track' a live version of one we heard about 5 minutes ago - why do they bother breaking up the flow of an album with these things?).
You can check out three 'webisodes' for the album at the links below:
My Moon My Man
The 7th installment by Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes sees them open everything up with a more expansive and altogether grander outlook taking precedence. Named after a Florida town visited by Oberst to consult spiritual mediums, Cassadaga aims at the grandeur of a modern American classic. Unlike the work of many 27 year-olds it's possible to plot an artistic progression through the work of this man and see that this album is the coming together of many facets of his life. Early albums like the fantastic Fevers & Mirrors ride on a tense balance of frail whispered devotions of love to impassioned shrieks of hatred while 2005's Digital Ash In A Digital Urn embraced a more electronic sound in its production. Cassadaga acts as the melting pot for all this history including Oberst's recent opposition to anything Bush. The result is a well rounded if not slightly diluted depiction of the present day Oberst and his country.
The success of the Bright Eyes sound is down to simple song writing. Oberst is undoubtedly a complex character but this rarely complicates the songs. If The Brakeman Turns My Way and Middleman are what this band is built on. As usual, Oberst's lyrics are dark and brooding but there is a hope in these songs that coupled with the steady, soaring melody make something swell in your heart. He injects an ambiguity into his poetry mixing gritty realism with hopelessly romantic imagery. His music references time-honored song writing traditions but at the same time is fiercely contemporary. Having said that, the low point of the album comes in the form of the Soul Singer In A Session Band and its a rare moment where we see obvious song writing and dull lyrics.
The band has grown considerably since 2005's double bill release and the string section and soaring backing vocals on many tracks are what really separates this from previous works. Nowhere is this seen more powerfully than on the album highlight No One Would Riot For Less. Oberst's quivering voice mirrors the delicate guitar picking that accompanies it. His protagonists, playing out tales of inevitable death, are comforted by the line "Love me now, help is coming," and from the distance an angelic, female voice can be heard. The strings gently pick things up and carry them away to heights rarely seen by this band.
Most bands reach a point where the far ends of their creative leanings converge together and when this happens the result is often a more well rounded, comprehensive whole but also a leveling out that can round off edges and dilute extremes. At times Cassadaga sounds like Bright Eyes have reached this point. The bitter edge to the Oberst tongue seen on Fevers & Mirrors has been on the way out since 2005's I'm Wide, Awake It's Morning and is obviously being vented in his Desparecidos punk-rock side project. Since his scathing attack on the Bush administration in the song When The President Talks To God, Oberst has become a figurehead for the protest song and though I didn't want this album to be plagued with anti-war imagery the moments where this is addressed are quite feeble compared to the venom of his previous song. Claims that the country is being run by a madman and comparisons to soldiers and insects are nothing we don't already know and not what we have come to expect from this lyricist. To criticize an album for not enough political opinion seems ludicrous but in an age where every cretin is shouting empty, anti establishment noise we need artists like Oberst who don't speak like they have a media reputation to protect and who above all have the ability to express an honest and important opinion.
But in his defense, as you pull back from this album you see that as a whole Cassadaga manages to paint a very real and intelligent picture of America today with all its hopes and fears. In the sweeping orchestral grandeur we see the vast open planes of the American landscape and crouching somewhere within the frail voice of Oberst himself we see the fragility of his country and the uncertainty of its future. 2005's double release was a special moment for this band and though Cassadaga doesn't live up to either of those albums it is still a worthy follow up.
Dressed Up For The Letdown
Straight outta rural Minnesota comes Richard Swift with this, his third album.
His music however comes from somewhere between Tin Pan Alley and 70's Laurel Canyon, he takes these reference points and makes them sound like his own. However Swift is not a one trick pony or a revivalist and mixes things up to good effect. 'Most Of What I Know' and bar room sing-along 'Kisses For The Misses' are both great. However, the Paul McCartney sounding piano ballads feel a little stagnant and tired.
Pretty good but not all that memorable.
The Chimpomatic world tour of Canada kicks off in the first week of February, and all named chimps are invited. To get you in the mood for a fate worse than a fate worse then death, check out the trailer for First Descent. Totally cheesy, but totaaaaaly ossssuuuum duuuuuuude!
like the look of smokin' aces - jeremey "hug it out bitch" piven and jason "arrested development" bateman could be a winning combo?
The Forum, Kentish Town, London
Veteran Indie shufflers Yo La Tengo are in Europe this month, in support of both their recent album I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Kick Your Ass, and their soundtrack to the Will Oldham movie Old Joy, for which they made a panel appearance at the London Film Festival. For they London show they booked up The Forum, with support from post-rockers Minotaur Shock.
There was anticipation in the air from the muso crowd, which included to my surprise a heavy set tough-guy tout that I had seen outside. He was re-directing people who were blocking the view of others, and was ready for a punch up when one guy was chatting as the band started.
For a band with such a vast back catalogue, the show was dominated by ...I Will Beat Your Ass for a good 75%. After a beautiful I Feel Like Going Home and a jaunty Beanbag Chair we were straight into the 10 minutes epic Pass The Hatchet.
The band had the aura of seasoned veterans, and the crowd were loving it. Ira read out an amusing item from the Independent regarding the dangers of being a drummer (Bloc Party have unsurprisingly fallen foul) and warned that Georgia would be taking it a little easy' tonight, but thankfully that was not the case. Working the stage like a three-man-one-man-band (or even a Marx Brothers musical interlude - Ira would be Chico), they swapped instruments and tasks seamlessly, avoiding the tedious, self-important setting-up delays that so many bands seem to fall into. The variation ads another dimension to their show and they easily motored through inspired versions of most of their awesome new album - plus a handful of older tracks, including a great Don't Have To Be So Sad.
While Ira and Georgia seem to have all the fun, you can't help but feel sorry for James who definitely gets the short straw - repeating the same bass-line for 10 minutes, while Ira freewheels along like an indie Hendrix. Sometimes that freewheeling goes too far off the tracks, and the songs get just too strung out - dwindling into free-jazz territory, and it was hard not to notice some of the crowd developing visible headaches - me included. This was most noticeable on Blue Line Swinger. The song disintegrated into 10 minutes of jazz-feedback - and while it did pay off with a great finale as the rhythm synced out of the chaos, it's hard to know if it was worth it. Much like Less Than You Think, the poison pill on Wilco's A Ghost Is Born.
Although they were chatty and the crowd certainly seemed engaged, the band can seem rather distant on stage. When the audience stop stroking their beards and get more involved the band softened up and it became more of a rock show that a performance. The encore put the whole thing up a notch and was they highlight of the show - with the band returning to the stage and literally taking requests from the audience, a technique which might be useful more often. It seemed that the audience were universal in their choice of favourites, and classics like Autumn Sweater show this band to be truly magnificent.
Nicely updated, with a bit of Jay-Z smoothing over the cracks, Miami Vice is back in town.
The Accidental family catalogue has finally reached the Digital domain and can now be downloaded from the following sites:
24/7 | 7 Digital | Aim4Music | ATS Digital | Audio Jelly | Band Wagon | Beatport | Bleep | Click Groove | Dance Tunes | DJ Download | DJ Power | DX3 | eMusic | EUK | Fnac | FRS | iTunes | Juno | Karma | Lyzia | MixAlbum | Music Minutes | Musicnet | Napster | OD2 | Pocket Group | Playlouder | Sony Connect | T Online | Tune Tribe | Universal Music France | Vidzone | VirginMega | Wippit | Xpress Beats
(dir. Steven Spielberg)
Across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes.. and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.
The ultimate earth invasion story gets the big screen treatment from the Stephen Spielberg / Tom Cruise double whammy, with Tom Cruise playing a regular American hero forced to spring into action when Martians decide to pitch up on earth and start blasting everything with their heat ray.
Things start off pretty well, with a tense set-up as strange electrical storms sweep the globe (Independence Day anyone?), but Spielberg pretty much skips to the end from about 20 minutes in - once the Martians have appeared. After that it’s just one long finale, as walking machines decimate everything in their path and Tom races to Boston to drop off the kids with his wife. Houses are blown away, fly-overs are annihilated and cars flip over in an endless display of stuff-we-can-do-with-computers-these-days. It’s not rubbish, and in fact it even gets a bit tense and scary in places, but it suffers mainly from being an obviously rushed production - put on a fast-track after the collapse of MI:3 left Tom's summer tentpole a bit pint-sized. Somehow it just seems a bit hollow and totally forgettable.
Now, “if you’d read the book" on the other hand… you’d know that isn’t all that satisfactory either - particularly with the ending - but it does have a lot more suspense, some awesome set-pieces and a much more universal appeal.