Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hidden Gem

I really like this song. From the classic AM radio era.

The chorus will be in my head all weekend now.

"Loooooooove takes time...and its haaaaaaaaard to gotta taaaaaaaaake some time".

If you take the singer out of the equation, it sounds like a bad 1980's TV theme song.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 20 - "Big Love" by Fleetwood Mac

I became a HUGE fan of Fleetwood Mac while I was in college. Though I had known most of their radio friendly songs, I never really got into Stevie Nicks and that whole California sound they and the Eagles had going. Then, I watched "The Dance", their 1997 reunion program they did for MTV. For some reason, their guitar player Lindsey Buckingham just blew me away. He played without a pick, had a great growly voice, was sort of eccentric, and played the shit out of a guitar.

It was his solo acoustic performance of the song he wrote for Fleetwood Mac, "Big Love", that really sucked me in. I had forgotten about the original version of the song and tracked down the video for the 1987 original version. It's a very cool video just for the final 30 seconds alone but has lots of just strange parts along the way. Two words describe this video..."cocaine" and "cocaine". Let's take a look.

0:00 - We open with a pull back shot of a nice looking mansion. Hey, there's Mick Fleetwood, playing the drums. Too bad its a drum machine that's playing on the recorded version of this song....but you have to Mick in somewhere right?

0:13 - John McVie and Christine McVie...former married couple. I like how she tortures him by keeping his name even thought they've been divorced over 30 years now.

0:16 - Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Stevie was in the throws of cocaine addiction at the time as well as being addicted to food since she was starting to put on some weight. I love Lindsey's flattop haircut he was sporting around this time.

0:21 - So the front of the house pulls back into a shot of Lindsey singing in a window. Lindsey is probably one of the worst lip synchers ever, I'm sad to say.

0:28 - Another Lindsey appears singing. You can sort of see how bad the green screen is in this video.

0:35 - This is a cool see the band members being introduced one by one. I always liked how Lindsey got into it while playing.

0:44 - Two things I like about the band shot. Stevie Nicks just fluffing her skirt and Mick Fleetwood miming his playing to a drum machine.

0:51 - A loooooooong hallway shot of Lindsey standing very awkwardly in front of model....hey there's Mick and Stevie again!

1:06 - More of Lindsey rocking out...and by rocking out I mean literally rocking back and forth again. I tried to imitate his playing style while playing the trumpet at Boston College but was called out on this by the band director immediate. I felt like I was on cocaine while doing it (though I never tried it...Mom and Dad were good influences on me).

1:25 - Dancing was not Lindsey's strongpoint.

1:40 - Another cool shot of the band...this time by the beach. This video is all over the place.

1:49 - 1980's special effects at their best.

2:03 - More bad lip syncing and an extra head nod for effect.

2:19 - I LOVE these group shots.

2:26 - Its like the scary hallway from the movie "The Shining" has been taken over the guitar playing goblin of Lindsey Buckingham. I don't know guitar that well but his finger moving is creepy and distracting.

2:40 - This exactly how I took my wife to bed on our wedding night.

2:50 - An interesting crane shot of the house again with the band members scattered around the yard. Poor Stevie is still fluffing that skirt of hers.

3:07 - OK so this is the reason why this video got on this list. The last 30 seconds of the video is the video being run in reverse but you throw in a few shots of a terrible special effect of Lindsey and that model going "oh" "ah" to each other...before it all ending on the foyer with close up freeze frame Lindsey.

Now that is how you end a video!

Bonus video...the video that started my Fleetwood Mac fandom. Lindsey playing "Big Love" on acoustic guitar from 1997's "The Dance". One of the best guitar performances you'll me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "25th Hour"

• Where I bought this movie: I ordered this movie from back in 2003 when I lived in Bayside, Queens and was at the peak of my DVD hoarding.

* Why Own It?: I can’t really tell you why I ordered this movie because I’m not a fan of Spike Lee movies. However, Edward Norton was at the peak of his acting powers and the movie was the first to deal with 9/11 showing shots of Ground Zero and the raw emotions around NYC at the time. I guess that intrigued me enough to buy it to watch it on a rainy day.

* Had I seen this movie before?: That rainy day came two years later in 2005 when I first attempted to watch every DVD I owned...but I hadn’t seen it since.

* Time collecting dust: 6 years since I’ve last touched it.

* What I thought of the movie: This has become one of my more favorite movies if mainly because of the awesome cast and a very interesting story. If you had one day left before you went to prison, what would you do? What kind of thoughts would go through your head? There aren’t too many scenes but the movie is effective in setting up the suspense of if Ed Norton’s character might make a run for it.

And the cast…one of the better casts you’ll find in a movie with a good mix of established actors at the time and some solid up and comers: Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Anna Paquin, Rosario Dawson, Brian Cox, and oddly enough, former football player and FOX NFL broadcaster Tony Siragusa.

I highly recommend this movie. It’s why I subconsciously bought it (hearing it was great). I still dislike Spike Lee but I don’t hate him any more. Ed Norton is the man in this movie.

Favorite Scene: There’s a lot of them but it’s a tie between the club scene (any scene with the song "White Lines" in the background is a keeper for me) and the last 5 minutes.

Previous Movie: 16 Blocks
Next Movie: 28 Days Later

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 21 - "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison

When the Beatles met the 1980's...

This video was great for the 10 year old kid like I was when this came out (back in 1987). At the time, I loved whatever pop music was on the radio. I hadn't gotten into bands or buying cassette tapes yet (though I did get Hall and Oates "Big Bam Boom" and Huey Lewis and The News "Fore" as Christmas presents in the years prior). I certainly hadn't heard of the Beatles and this song, along with Paul McCartney's "Say Say Say" were my first exposure to Beatles music of any kind.

Anyway, up pops this video featuring an old guy in a grey sweater just sitting in a chair strumming his guitar in what looks like an old cabin somewhere. Little did I know at the time that this was George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, and he was having his first major hit in quite some time. To the 10 year old me, it was an old crazy man sitting in his house as wild things were going on around him. Let's take a look...

0:00-0:08 - This has to be one of my favorite drumbeats. It's very similar to the beginning of the band White Lion's version of the "Transformers Theme Song" from Transformers The Movie. There's a nugget for you the next time you're at a cocktail party.

0:18-0:28 - Ah yes, the immortal George Harrison...I like his look here. He reminds me of a the disheveled wacky uncle that everyone has. That sweater looks to be very worn too.

0:32-0:50 This is where things start to happen in the room...first the clock, then the swords, then some kind of statue behind George, and then the book.

1:02-1:05 Love this guy...that little Cockatoo can work it. Though I'm sure someone was behind the cage prodding him with something dangerous to make him move like that.

1:21-1:29 - Another of my that moose and warthog. Someone must have watched this video and said "hey, let's make a restaurant off the concept of this video" and a few years later the first Rain Forest Cafe opened up.

1:32 - Not sure if George knew he was about to get blasted by pieces of paper but I like the raised eyebrow he gives here.

1:56-2:13 As a kid, this amazed me that a man that old could dance and flip around like this....but if you look closely (or really not closely at all) its a stunt double that looks like Bob Geldof.

2:29 - 2:32 - Not sure who George is looking at off camera here but it looks like he's trying to hold back a laugh.

2:40 - Have give some props to the special effects here in a pre-CGI era. Though its pretty straightforward, its neat that they had so many things moving around.

3:12 - My favorite sequence...again, I love the moose and warthog and then you get that squirrel to just blow on that peace pipe.

3:35 - Yeesh, that was a little frightening to me. I never did like bear-skinned rugs.

This whole video probably inspired Pee Wee's Playhouse...

Friday, September 16, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "16 Blocks"

From "12 Monkeys" we go to "16 Blocks"...

* Where I bought this movie: I picked up this movie back in 2008 from a Blockbuster Video when they would do their "4 movies for $30" sale. Talk about a great deal. I picked up most of my mediocre movies this way.

* Why Own It?: I think this was one of those impulse buys. I probably had three movies I really wanted to own but needed a 4th to complete the deal. This was that kind of movie to me.

* Had I seen this movie before?: No...I had it once out to watch with my wife around a year ago but we went with a terrible Kate Hudson movie instead I'm sure.

* Time collecting dust: 3 years though really only a year since I had planned to watch it a year ago...damn you Kate Hudson.

* What I thought of the movie: I'll admit, this is a pretty good movie. It stars Bruce Willis (back to back movies oddly enough) as a down on his luck cop trying to get a felon from a prison to a court house for his hearing. It's 16 blocks away, hence the name, but those 16 blocks might be miles because it takes forever for Bruce Willis to get him there. Bruce plays a similar type role as he did in "12 Monkeys" in that he looks so damn depressed in this movie. He pulls that emotion off well though.

The convict is played by actor/rapper Mos Def which probably is the worst name I've ever heard. Def is charming in his role though and I started to root for the guy at the end. In another rare back to back movie viewing experience, David Morse pops up in this movie playing a bad cop. Pretty satisfying ending on this typical predictable kind of movie.

Highly recommended if it pops up on cable one day. I'm glad I finally got to see this movie.

The Greatest Drum Fill In Music History...

...happens at the 4:35-4:37 mark.

I mean you have this great buildup from 4:20-4:35 and that's the best the drummer could come up with? "Tat-Tat"? You even get a quick shot of him doing it too.

No wonder thrash metal began right around the same time as this song.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The History Of Movies from A - Z - "12 Monkeys"

This will hopefully be the start of another running series...

From 1997-2009 I was a major movie junkie. My roommate at Boston College was the first to get a DVD player back in 1997 (paid $600 for it) and the first movie he bought was "The Professional". We must have watched that movie one hundred times. Anyway, not so far away from where I lived was a Tower old school record store that sold CD's and DVD's (and magazines too!). Anyway, once I got a taste of good looking picture quality, crisp audio, and the ability to build your own movie collection, I was hooked. Over the course of the next 12 years, I amassed a DVD collection that is probably close to 1,000. A lot of it was buying new DVD's but over the past 6 years or so its been buying used DVD from either or video stores like Blockbuster.

Here's the problem...I have so many movies, I don't know what to do with them. Most of them, I've never even seen. My wife brings it up every now and then to me that I have a custom shelved closet for the DVD's and all they do is collect dust. So I came to conclusion that I am going to watch EVERY SINGLE DVD starting with the beginning of the alphabet. I don't care how long it takes or how bad the movie is...I am going to spend the 2 hours and watch every damn movie.

I actually tried doing this back in 2003 and made it pretty far (the letter "G") but I've since bought another couple of hundred movies so I'm going to restart the process.

My reviews will be different. First they will be short. There will be five pieces of info given. 1.) When, where and how I bought this movie.; 2.) Why did I find this movie desirable to own.; 3.) Had I even seen this movie before; 4.) How long had it been collecting dust on my shelf before watching it.; 5.) What I actually thought of the movie.

Since I have some movies that begin with numbers, I decided to start there....first up "12 Monkeys"

* Where I bought this movie: I picked up this movie back in 2009 when the Hollywood Video near me when out of business. They had a fire sale on all of their pre-owned movies and I picked this up for a cool $2. It's probably the dirtiest DVD I own in terms of several stainson it and the box is slightly torn.

* Why Own It?: Well, it starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis for one. It was in the golden sci-fi era of the late 90's. Plus Brad Pitt got an Oscar nomination for playing a crazy person. It also was directed by Terry Gilliam who at the time was very good at making movies that liked to scramble your brain. It seemed to be a cult favorite too so that intrigued me.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Nope...the very first movie sitting in my collection for the last two years and I haven't picked it up once to watch.

* Time collecting dust: 2 years

* What I thought of the movie: I liked it...a little confusing at times and sadly the ending was a little predictable once you pull all of the pieces together. Time travel movies can be fun if pulled off right. I love the character actor David Morse so it was cool to see him in an early role as a bad guy (he played a cop in 90% of the movies he was in). All in all, I was impressed. A good "transition" movie for Bruce Willis as he started going away from action star to more of an actor.