Robert Wm. Gomez's

L'Ultimo Treno Della Notte by Ennio Morricone (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Yet another cool Italian movie soundtrack from Cinevox! The title track features Demis Roussos of Aphrodite's Child(!) on vocals. His warbley stylings don't quite fit here. Fortunately the rest of the album picks up after the cheesy opener. The instrumentation features the actual sounds of trains, a train-like drum machine beat and harmonicas mimicing the sound of train whistles. What's not to like about that?

La Donna Domenica by Ennio Morricone (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Another great soundtrack re-release from Cinevox. The pieces start mellow and gradually build in tension without quite reaching the beautiful noise-experimentalism of Morricone's giallo recordings. This score is very similar to Indagine Su Un Cittadino Al Di Soppra Di Ogni Sopsetto in both style and in the use of multiple variations on a very limited assortment of musical themes. La Donna Domenica, thankfully, is not quite as repetitive as Indagnine.

The Maltese Falcon (9/10)

Although the plot seems to bounce around from time to time, this is about as hardboiled as hardboiled detective films get. It's filled with tough guy attitude that you can't really pull off in films these days without some crappy slow-motion explosion/CGI camera spin/sunglasses removal/camera sneer shot.

Down Istanbul

This is my new favorite song of the moment! Download it here. Get the whole album here at Twilightzone's Blog, where, at the moment, there is a great series of rare 45's being posted under the moniker Trashcan Records. Fantastic stuff!

Update: Drop.io is dead, as is my link to the song. Sorry.

District 9 (8/10)

A good well-paced sci-fi action movie. Didn't quite live up to the the hype and is mostly noteworthy because of the South African setting and gritty documentary style. In hindsight, it's just a rehash of movies like Enemy Mine  or even Dances With Wolves.

Dummy Image Bookmarklet

This afternoon I came up with a handy little bookmarklet (or favlet) that uses the site dummyimage.com to create a place holder graphic. Simply drag the following link to the button bar of your browser:

Dummy Image

When you click the bookmark it will prompt you to input image dimensions. Use the format, WIDTHxHEIGHT (for example 640x480) and a new window should open up with a downloadable GIF with those exact dimensions.

Copyright and YouTube

I just noticed today that a video I had posted in YouTube was just blocked in the U.S. because of some music I used in the background. Specifically, they blocked my PC Transporter video that I used to demo some hardware I was selling on eBay. The video is pretty mundane, but I used a Señor Coconut track in the background along with various beeps and noises from the Apple ][gs. Come on, who is going to download the song with all sorts of disk drive noises on top of it?

Black Dynamite (8/10)

This is not so much a parody as a straight-up recreation of a low budget 70s black exploitation film. The humor comes from the exaggeration of the style and it spares us (for the most part) from the Scary Movie-style moments of obvious jokes.

Zonbi Jieitai (4/10)

No-budget Japanese zombie movie with a dumb story a few good gore shots and lots of horrible iMovie-quality digital effects. I guess it's played for humor, but there aren't really any truly funny moments.

Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest (7/10)

The French comic upon which the movie was based. Stunning 60's stylized artwork, but the story is just a series of bland sci-fi episodes with a little titillation thrown in here and there.

Aliens Omnibus by Various Authors (4/10)

This is a collection of the Aliens comics that were released by Dark Horse in the late eighties. These came out before the awful Alien 3 went and killed all the characters we loved from Aliens. The plot picks up shortly after Aliens with characters returning to LV-426 to explore the crashed alien ship. I think I would have preferred it if the later movies took this direction, but the comics are just poorly written fanboy garbage for the most part. They try to be deep and end up just being a confusing mess of clichés and movie re-quotes.

Giallo (8/10)

Giallo isn't quite the return to form I wanted from Dario Argento, but it's a much better movie than the majority of his post-Opera films (I still think The Stendhal Syndrome and the Masters of Horror episode Jenifer are much better). Gone is the visual style that really was what made Argento's best movies so great. Instead, we have a good Italian-style thriller with the usual graphic violence, bad acting and plot holes. Generally, this is enough for me, but I always want more from Argento.