May 2015

C'est Chic! by Various Artists (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Another great 60's girl group compilation from Ace Records. I think I like the Italian girl singers CD a tad bit more, but this is pretty great. Of course there are songs written by Serge Gainsbourg including the classic, "Laisser tomber les filles" (sung by France Gall). A solid compilation and a great introduction to yé yé.

World War Z (3/10)

Well, the book wasn't great, but at least it was a new twist on the zombie genre. The movie is just terrible. The book was a meticulous telling of the logistics of fighting zombies on a global scale. The film just follows Brad Pitt from place to place where he doesn't do much of anything. And, once again, sigh... fast zombies. I mean really fast zombies.

Mad Max: Fury Road (10/10)

This movie was essentially one continuous car chase, but, as terrible as that sounds, it works perfectly. Back when I was 13, I was just the right age when Beyond Thunderdome came out and I loved it. I was not soured on the Mad Max brand and waiting for some sequel to redeem the series. So, for me, Fury Road isn't so much a return to form as it is just another ramping up in quality. What makes this movie so excellent is the unrelenting sense of danger. As I often paraphrase from Joe Bob Briggs: in this film, anyone can die at any moment.

A Bullet for the General (5/10)

The story of a finely attired gringo mercenary who falls in with a group of banditos in a scheme to steal weapons and support the revolution. Definitely not the most exciting spaghetti western I have seen (what, no gun duels!). Klaus Kinsky is tragically underused and the leads are fairly wooden. It's mostly a heavy-handed attempt at lefty political nonsense... rich Americans are evil. We get it.

Edge of Tomorrow (8/10)

This Tom Cruise action film is basically Groundhog's Day meets Starship Troopers. Since Groundhog's Day there must have been half-a-dozen rip-offs on various TV shows and made for Disney Channel movies (even the excellent Run Lola Run was essentially the same concept). It's an idea that just works no matter how crappy the vehicle. Edge of Tomorrow does it better than most by constantly building on the characters and plot, and ramping up the stakes as the timeline resets itself.

Curse: The Dark God Book 2 by John D. Brown (7/10)

Despite an exciting opening, the second book in this series is not as good as the first. The stakes aren't as high and it feels like a lot of set up for the next book.