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About the Young Idea: The Best of the Jam
About the Young Idea: The Best of the Jam
Price: $20.39
29 used & new from $9.82

5.0 out of 5 stars jam on, October 6, 2015
This is actually a review for the documentary. I know this isn't technically the same as the Best of the Jam music CD but it's close enough for now. I woke up today singing the Jam's "Town Called Malice", went to turn on the TV a few minutes later and saw the Jam's documentary About the Young Idea... and thought it was a bit of a strange coincidence... and then I turned over to a music station and heard "Town Called Malice", haha. Too many coincidences at once!

Anyway the documentary film is pretty good. It has several interviews with the band members discussing their beginnings in a small town. We see the band members walking around town and travelling to places that were important to them at one time. Places that hold memories and history. Gradually the story begins to mention how the band made it big. Based on the few Jam songs I know I've never sensed they were quite entirely punk rockers. It felt to me like they had pop, jazz, and R&B incorporated into their sound, and sure enough it's true. They admit they were more than just punk rock. The documentary briefly mentions the Sex Pistols and Clash. The Jam of course mentions the significance of the Beatles and the Who and how they were strongly influenced by both artists.

We often see footage of older concerts. What I find odd is the way people are introduced into the documentary. We see them standing in random spots around the UK, they say their name and the year they were born while holding up signs, and then their story/fascination with the band begins. This isn't so weird when the Jam band members themselves and record company producers are being introduced since they're significant people, but it certainly feels strange when later on the documentary starts introducing fans in the same manner. I can't find any faults with this documentary other than the British accents are stronger here than usual making it hard for an American like me to understand some of the interview portions. That's my fault and I have no issue admitting it. If I was acclimated to British culture I'd have an easier time with this.

Overall worth watching to remember a band that never made it big in the states like they should have, but UK folks surely remember fondly in the early 80's.

The Way
The Way
DVD ~ Emilio Estevez
Offered by Sparks DVD Sales
Price: $6.50
82 used & new from $2.64

4.0 out of 5 stars the way forward, October 5, 2015
This review is from: The Way (DVD)
The Way is about a father (Martin Sheen) who loses his son in France (played by Emilio Estevez, who is a PERFECT role for the son because I've always felt the two of them sort of resemble each other) so Martin decides, rather abruptly without warning, that he wants to take a trip across the Pyrenees (a mountain range between Spain and France) in honor of his son's memory even though he's told that given his age he shouldn't risk it. The story gets going rather quickly.

Along the way Martin meets a few memorable characters who he initially doesn't have any time for because he's still upset and bitter over his sons passing so he prefers to be left alone, but gradually warms up to. These characters include Deborah Kara Unger (the female of the bunch who's a sarcastic and witty Canadian with her own abusive history to share- she's the last to know the reason for Martin's journey across the mountains), Yorick Van Wageningen (a boisterous young Dutchman with tons of likeable personality that Martin has mixed feelings with due to his sons passing still being a mental issue, and due to the two of them always bumping into each other along the way) and James Nesbitt (an informative and very talkative Irish book writer who can rub Martin the wrong way sometimes, but has well-meaning attributes).

From time to time, as Martin and the gang explore the vast mountains, curvy paths, open fields, historic towns, statues and history of the locations on their journey to Spain, Martin sprinkles some of his sons ashes on important landmarks. It's strange he tells Yorick the reason he's doing this, but not Deborah. While there is a sad overtone to the movie (especially whenever Emilio suddenly appears, which is supposed to indicate that his presence is being felt by his father) this movie isn't quite as sad as I thought it'd be. The story's really good though it does drag occasionally. Perhaps 20 minutes could have been knocked away without any harm. The most memorable segments are the ones where Martin loses his backpack while carelessly bending down standing on a bridge so it falls in the water below resulting in Martin having to go down and grab it before the water carries it away, and when the group arrives to a gypsy town and a teenage boy steals his backpack.

The characters are mostly memorable too. There's more characters that come along during the walk, and they're interesting enough to leave an impression (especially the wise father of the teenage boy I mention above). It's interesting to see if Martin will ever warm up the group he's with, who are determined to stick together even though they don't really get along which is somewhat amusing because in reality if someone rubs you the wrong way even a *little* bit, you're not going to want to stick together on a walking journey together unless your life was in danger perhaps, but life or death situations never happened in this movie. Then again the Pyrenees mountains are probably more dangerous than the way they're presented here since the film's going for a resolution vibe and not a dangerous one. I was curious as to the reasons for the other characters tagging along with Martin, and we get those answers by the end. The presentation is gorgeous and a high point of the movie.

Overall the Way is certainly memorable. Perhaps it could've been sadder, but as it is it's strong enough to recommend for sure. Then again maybe my emotions are just getting harder as I get older? I recognize Martin lost his son, there's sad piano music often playing (and James Taylor and other familiar songs/artists too which is nice), but I just don't feel the sadness or the inspirational feeling that the movie is going for. Still, great movie for the characters and the journey aspect which are both really high points.

Ask Me Anything
Ask Me Anything
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars ask me anything mr. blog reader, October 2, 2015
Ask Me Anything is quite possibly a masterpiece. At first I never would've guessed the story would only get more interesting as it goes along because it felt like a typical drama involving a fairly normal teenager, but it does in fact improve in a big way. It's about a teenage girl played by Britt Robertson who wants to take a year off before attending college to explore her sexual adventures and blog writing skills. Now I don't know much about blogs so I thought it was a little odd she'd show excitement to her mother when she announces that she started a blog, but apparently such a thing is a big deal after all.

What makes the story so good is how Britt gets caught up with way too many men. She doesn't really come across like a skank who sleeps around and at least initially seems like a level headed person who has her life planned out. She feels like she's in control. However later, after the amount of men she's slept with starts getting out of control and her emotional state of mind deteriorates, that's when the story gets even better. The movie has a comedic edge to it, while still maintaining a drama feel.

Anyway Britt likes older men so the first man we see her sleep with is Justin Long (and my goodness he looks like David Schwimmer from Friends). This is the main reason she wanted to take a year off from college- because she wanted to explore her sexual side with this guy. However things fall apart later when it's evident the two are meant to go their own ways. I won't spill the beans and say why or how. She's secretly doing this guy while dating her other boyfriend (Max Carver). At first Max seems like a clueless frat boy that doesn't really care about Britt, but he has a very violent side to his character that caught me by surprise. Very good moment of writing there.

She's not quite done doing guys just yet! There's also Christian Slater, who plays an excitable father that Britt goes to when it's time to babysit the family baby, drink wine and attend parties. It's quite courageous that Britt and Christian make out with each other the moment Christian's wife leaves the room to check on the baby. She also becomes friends with Max Hoffman's character. Surprisingly not a sexual thing in this case! I guess she needs to focus on her blog and other things once in a while too.

There's other men that dominate her life. Her father, Robert Patrick's character, is a lazy drunk who sits around on the couch all day with his Middle Eastern wife. He's somewhat obnoxious but funny in an offensive kind of way. He's such a drunk person that Britt thinks whenever her parents give her the silent treatment, it's because they have bad news to report... and the news is going to relate to him. Andy Buckley is her mom's father. Britt likes to make fun of him and refers to him as "moustache" after her mom walks in and says she's going to marry the guy. The timing here was hilarious because again, Britt expected bad news related to her father only to discover the mom is about to announce a marriage. She also hangs out with a friend but it never goes anywhere meaningful. At least, it tries to but falls apart by the second half.

It's surprising that by the end of the movie, the bookseller played by Martin Sheen turns out to be the one person she mostly depends on for advice (even though Britt's mother found out he did something very bad when he was a young man). However this movie does the ultimate in surprise- I did NOT see that ending! It's chilling to say the least and makes me question if it's based on a real story. It surely looked that way when they show the "real" people portraying the actors/actresses in the movie (I have to put "real" in quotation marks because I'm not sure if they're the actual friends, boyfriends and parents connected to the real girl portrayed by Britt Robertson- this could be a carefully elaborate piece of fiction). I want to spoil what happens at the very end so my review doesn't sound confusing but it would be lousy to ruin it. Let's just say it relates to blogging, computers and technology as a whole and being feed up with it all. She took Martin's advice apparently, and it's a different kind of ending.

Overall Britt Robertson plays an interesting, mentally troubled, sexually active, quirky character. For the most part this movie is appropriate for teens, but a couple segments show brief nudity and another scene I can remember describes sex in detail that's a little inappropriate, but otherwise a really well-told and complex movie that only gets more interesting/elaborate as it goes on. This film is also brilliant assuring that each and every character gets the proper amount of attention needed to fulfill the story in a satisfying way (well except for Britt's one friend I suppose, bot everyone else gets enough attention for sure). Highly recommended for everyone.

Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars just get the butter already!, October 2, 2015
This review is from: Roadie (Amazon Instant Video)
I admit that the main reason I love Roadie so much is because it's a fictional story about a man (Ron Eldard) who tells everyone he's a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult, one of my favorite hard rock bands of the 70's and 80's. The music that plays throughout the movie is really good. I wasn't sure if on one occasion I was hearing a guitar jam called "Buck's Boogie". I figure the odds are good it was a BOC song because it sounds like one based on the distinct guitar tone, and I remember it from a while ago but haven't heard it in years.

Basically Roadie features the kind of hard rock I love! Robin Trower, the Good Rats, Jethro Tull, Jackson Browne and of course BOC. I actually didn't realize based on the description that the movie would mention BOC so much, so it was a surprise when their music started playing. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The movie takes place in Queens New York and Blue Oyster Cult is a New York band. Unfortunately none of the band members make an appearance.

Anyway the story is really simple and quiet. Ron visits his mother after claiming he's about to head out to South Africa with the band. The reality is that he was fired and was actually a stagehand (someone who helps set up the equipment before a concert) and he's been a stagehand for 20 years. You can tell he's lying because he never elaborates when the time calls for it. Anyway after his mother demands that he goes to the downtown grocery store and grabs some butter (something he obviously didn't want to do because he kept making excuses and wouldn't leave the house... and when he did he *still* didn't want to do it- it's just butter for goodness sake! It won't jump out of the box and bite you!) he decides to stop by at the bar where he meets his old high school friends Bobby Cannavale (who he doesn't get along with because he constantly refers to Rob as "testicles" for a name) and a potentially superstar-quality singer in the beautiful Jill Hennessy.

Ron has mixed feelings with Bobby and for good reason. He's secretly jealous of Ron's success getting the opportunity to be a part of a legendary rock band and tour around the world. When Bobby, Ron and Jill all decide to get high in a hotel room one night, well at first Jill brings a tape of the new Blue Oyster Cult's album which Ron doesn't approve of because he realizes he might get caught up in a lie (at least that's the way it appeared- maybe he did know the lyrics to the songs after all and was just acting weird). When things start to escalate, Bobby and Ron get into a mean verbal fight prompting Bobby to leave. Jill's the only one who realizes how immature the two of them are acting.

There's a confusing moment in the movie when Ron says he actually once mixed arsenic with somebody's drugs while taking a drive with Bobby. I'm not sure if he was kidding when he said that. It sounded serious to me. Bobby interpreted it as serious as well. What I LOVE about this movie is the segment in the bar when Ron explains to Bobby what makes Blue Oyster Cult such an unforgettably great rock band. He names several songs that the band has done in the early years such as "Seven Screaming Diz Busters" and "Dominance & Submission" and mentions the guitar solo in the latter as the high point/culmination of the 70's. As someone who loves 70's rock and likes to discover older bands that don't get much attention these days I was like "Yes! YES!" and absorbing/agreeing with every word Ron was saying, haha. GREAT segment! And yes Blue Oyster Cult IS as awesome as he was describing! And when they play "Then Came the Last Days of May" depressingly in the beginning and later when everyone was dancing to "Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll") Awesome!

Anyway it would appear that Ron and Jill are leaning towards getting involved in a relationship because he invites her to his bedroom while visiting his mom, but actually she's more interested in starting a music career with her exceptional voice (not sure if she was really singing or lip singing). If that was REAL singing, very impressive! Besides that, the story remains simple and focuses around town (especially home) as we see Ron's relationship with his mom develop. They catch up on old times, reminisce and he learns some valuable lessons along the way. She provides a ton of good well-meaning advise. I think there was more to her forgetfulness that was never mentioned (she asked Ron to pick up a pepper at the store but then claims she never said that). Amazing story and pretty solid movie. It's not the kind of story that's blow you away, but for what it is it's subtle and fantastic.

Dreamcatcher [DVD]
Dreamcatcher [DVD]
5 used & new from $11.54

5.0 out of 5 stars dream big, October 2, 2015
This review is from: Dreamcatcher [DVD] (DVD)
Dreamcatcher is a documentary that shows the extremely hard world of prostitution. The story is about certain courageous women who organize a discussion group that helps prostitutes search for a better way of life. We see several meetings take place where women discuss their lifestyle. Many of the women in charge know exactly what these women are going through having been in the same situation themselves at one point. We see many interviews with prostitutes and what led them to become the person they are. The reason is past boyfriends beating or having sex with them, or their mother's boyfriends beating/having sex with them. Somewhere at some point, somebody took advantage of these women. This led to low self-confidence, drinking, doing drugs and eventually prostitution.

Even though I knew what to expect going into the documentary, this is still honestly quite surprising and realistic. I wouldn't say this is the most brutal and graphic way of showing prostitutes because it skips on the sex scenes (for the most part) but Dreamcatcher is still a pretty hard to watch documentary. We even see women being interviewed while they're on the streets. This documentary is intended to show viewers that these are real women expressing honest real emotions. Seeing the history and what led these women to be who they are is quite sad. Occasionally ex-pimps even drop by and reveal what their old habits were like. Really good overall, but viewer discretion is advised based on the subject matter.

The Water Horse
The Water Horse
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars riding a water horse across the sea, October 2, 2015
The Water Horse is a tremendous children's story that ignites the imagination and fantasy that children often feel based on the AMAZING presentation. This film is sort of similar to the Neverending Story in a way, but perhaps better because the special effects of the mythical water horse creature are more believable in this movie. It also takes place during World War II.

It's about a little Scottish boy (Alex Etel) who stumbles upon what appears to be a strange rock near the sea. Upon taking it home he begins to peel it apart with a knife and sees that it glows a mysterious light blue. He chooses to hide it in the shed so his mother (Emily Watson) doesn't discover it. She doesn't approve of pets... especially unexplainably humongous pets! Well shortly after a huge rainstorm hits and Alex awakens to the sound of chaos coming from the shed. He runs outside, opens the door... and sees that a mess has been created. Turns out that rock was actually an egg, and a baby adorable water horse is running loose (and he's SO adorable!)

For the first half of the film it's all about Alex, his sister and a handyman played by Ben Chaplin that all keep the water horse a secret. However this little creature has the ability to grow big *very* quickly. I mean overnight he grows three times bigger. He grows big enough that it's impossible to keep him in the house, so they eventually take him to the sea where he finds himself under attack by cannonballs because there's a war going on (World War II) and the soldiers are testing their weapons much to Alex's STRONG dislike and concern. Dodging cannonballs turns the monster very angry and defensive, even turning on Alex at one point. This is where David Morrissey comes into the picture- a strict soldier that demands Alex be disciplined because his wild imagination is causing nothing but trouble around the home front.

I personally thought the first half was better. Alex being a playful child keeping a mythical creature hidden around the house from his mother was more interesting than the boy riding around on this sea monsters back avoiding danger in the second half. The first half is when the family bulldog gets into mischief with the sea creature, leading to a hilarious chase scene. This is when people assume the bulldog is nothing but trouble but aren't aware of the presence of a sea creature being responsible for the bulldogs behavior. The writing here, and the way the characters interact while developing their characters, is really good. The second half is good too, but to a lesser extent.

There was another soldier that Alex sees that I thought would become a bigger part of the story because he had an angry look and it seemed like he was there to intimidate poor Alex, but he only appears a few times. He should have played a bigger role. Turns out the handyman has his own backstory and reason for being there. He's a vital part of the story helping Alex with the sea monster. At first when I saw the military drive up to this Scottish village where the boy lives, I thought something more significant was going to take place involving a war scene of some kind (hey I wasn't initially sure what country these soldiers belonged to and for a moment thought they were German). But it turns out they're only at this Scottish village to relax in the countryside for a while.

Overall, a really well-told story that the children will probably love. The acting, writing, story, characters, presentation (especially the presentation)... everything is spot-on perfect.

Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)
Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)
DVD ~ Alessandro Nivola
Offered by laserblazer
Price: $7.98
139 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars clever plans... with a big weak part in the middle, October 1, 2015
Best Laid Plans has a wonderful idea that's executed awkwardly. It's about a man (Josh Brolin) who panics and kidnaps/chains a girl (Reese Witherspoon's character) in his basement after she claims rape. He doesn't want to go to jail and have his teaching education thrown away after Reese runs to the cops, so Jason invites his friend over (Alessandro Nivola) so they can try and figure out what to do about the girl. At first the storyline was incredibly interesting, and it starts right away so don't miss the first 3 minutes of the movie. So how can it go wrong? By temporarily abandoning it 10 minutes later and going back 4 months earlier in time to show how the characters got to this point.

For the next 45 minutes, the story takes a MAJOR turn and focuses on Alessandro and Reese being part of a sophisticated drug heist. This is not only disappointing because it steps away from the main story so it makes the description for the film somewhat misleading, but it's also told in a very banal, pretentious and uninteresting way that doesn't make the characters or story entertaining in the slightest. It's also a bit confusing because it suddenly introduces a new set of characters. Some of this stuff even leans towards teenage drama. Bad idea to show a lot of Reese Witherspoon and her emotional state. However after the nearly unwatchable 45-minute mark the story returns to the original part with Reese chained to the basement and Alessandro coming up with a plan to remove the girl in a way that convinces Josh that she's dead.

However Josh is a very clueless person. It's a bit weird seeing Josh Brolin play such a character. He's usually mature, smarter and focused, but here he portrays a bundle of nerves. It's awkward. He's so nervous about what to do with the girl he almost unintentionally ruins Alessandro's plan to help Reese escape. This part of the writing is VERY good. More characters are introduced after the two load Reese's body in the trunk, and all the characters all linked together in a way that makes the story and conclusion more clever. It's just the 45 minutes in the middle that involves the drug heist that totally stinks. If that entire piece of the story had been removed, and had the story continued in a direction that didn't step away from the main plot, Best Laid Plans could've been amazing. As it is, it's flawed. It's true that there's moments of cleverness in the plot twists (especially the final 10 minutes) but it could've been told better.

DVD ~ Adrien Brody
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $7.80
80 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, but it's not for everyone, October 1, 2015
This review is from: Wrecked (DVD)
Imagine waking up and finding yourself trapped in a wrecked car in the woods with no idea how you got there or how to escape? That's the situation Adrien finds himself in. While Wrecked doesn't have much of a story and is based entirely around Adrien either trying to free his legs from the trapped passengers seat he's stuck in or crawling around the forest (seriously this IS the entire movie) I couldn't help but find it intriguing. The eerily quiet atmosphere makes it feel like something surprising is going to happen at any moment.

So yeah, Wrecked is one of those movies where you expect something amazing to happen and change the story in a big way, but instead it focuses on Adrien freeing himself, crawling around through rich forest lands and constantly hallucinating that a woman is watching him, and that a dog is following him. However I'm not 100% sure that either the woman or dog was fake. I won't spoil certain points in the film, but the presence of both felt realistic on a couple occasions. Also the segment where Adrien's crawling away up a hill, turns around and sees someone taking things in the trunk of his car... this felt realistic, as did when Adrien found a bag of supplies in the woods. I figured the bag belonged to the man who was digging in the trunk, however it's probably up to interpretation if the bag was even there in the first place (and the man too for that matter).

I liked the first half more than the second. While Adrien's trapped in the passengers seat of the wrecked car, there's a guy in the backseat who's dead. For what must've been at least 2 or 3 days (guessing based on how many night scenes we see) Adrien hallucinates that a woman brings him food and water, that there's a mysterious green tablet on the floor of the drivers seat he's determined to get to, and that there's a gun under the drivers seat. Actually the gun might have been true. I honestly don't know.

The good news is that the movie is rewarding in the end... well, it's nothing particularly exciting, but the reason or Adrien being in the wrecked car is explained perfectly clear. Let's just say Adrien has flashbacks the more he crawls around the forest. When the flashbacks first started I thought about the situation he's in some more and felt that he's not exactly the nicest guy in the world if you get what I mean. I was wrong however. I loved the segment where he pretended to see searchlights and flashlights looking for him in the forest. That part felt believable. Oh and watch out for that mountain lion a couple minutes before the end! That was a very good jump scare.

So yeah, you'll either find Wrecked fascinating and intriguing until its conclusion, or you'll think it's long, pointless and goes nowhere. I'm in the first category. Also I loved the appearance and beauty of the forest. At first I wanted Adrien to free himself and escape... but as the story went along I found myself thinking otherwise based on certain flashbacks that were deliberately unclear intended to mislead viewers. So I was thinking maybe I shouldn't be cheering for the guy... until the ending, then I'm happy for him again!

Rage in Eden: Remastered Definitive Edition
Rage in Eden: Remastered Definitive Edition
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $12.50
44 used & new from $4.34

3.0 out of 5 stars inner raging, September 30, 2015
Rage In Eden is a slightly weaker album compared to Vienna. The melodic synths feel smoother and less creative, and the songs aren't written as memorable as before. Several weak vocal melodies make up the album which is a shame because this band was awesome just a year before (and especially before that). However a few songs are most certainly memorable. The lead singer also seems like he's often going for a self-important approach with the lyrics that I dislike.

"The Voice" has a decent swift pace, above average vocal melody and a subtle use of synth. The only moment of the song that really excites me (other than the instrumental part in the middle that showcases a synthesizer and piano blossoming rather beautifully) is when the song switches into the second melody and the singer sings the line "The look and the sound of the voice". That's a great moment of sincerity! The way he sings "I felt it once before, slipping over me" reminds me of the band Styx. At least the first melody I mention and love a lot returns a couple more times. The lead singer elevates his voice in a tearful and meaningful kind of way that I really like too. "The shape and the power of the voice!" Sorry gotta keep singing this melody because it's so good!

"We Stand Alone" has a similar speedy pace, though maybe slightly faster. I like the crunchy guitar riff that comes in as the singer sings the line "We stand with a different frame around us now". The shift from fast-moving synths into heavy guitar rock a moment later is unique and enjoyable. The song has a really frantic pace to the verse melody that I like. "And when we move we move in time, won't fake like pictures that come back again!" The singer has a subtle Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator way about his singing style and voice at times, while other times reminding me of a tamer Rob Halford of Judas Priest.

"Rage In Eden" has quiet and forgettable vocals. The song is based around a creepy new wave sound without any substance. I'm convinced Queensryche were listening to these guys too. Slight lullaby-ish vocal similarities between the two artists can be detected at times. I like the way the song ends with that unusual sound effect that reminds me of when you turn the speakers down on a stereo while a record is playing on the turntable, and you're still able to hear the music from the record player. I'm sure there's an actual name for this particular sound the band is using at the end of "Rage In Eden".

"I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)" continues the same synths and beats. This stuff was way ahead of its time in the early 80's and was really cool then but nowadays I have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. The "Oh I remember" section doesn't sound interesting to me and it surprises me the band thought this song was good enough to lay down on tape. At least the piano, new wave beats and guitar work afterwards is creative in an 80's King Crimson kind of way that's admirable. I still like the song to an extent. "The Thin Wall" shows the lead singer rushing through the verse melody somewhat obnoxiously (obnoxious by Ultravox's standards I mean- obviously some kind of rap/metal song would be considerably worse). I like the sudden change into the mellow part and the electric guitar used subtly in the background. Still a weakly written song because the vocals are bad. The song's a couple minutes overlong too.

"Stranger Within" opens with a synth part that sounds incredibly familiar. Not sure if this song was a hit. I probably have heard this song many years ago. Okay now *this* song is pretty awesome. The steady rhythm has a nervous feel to it, and the lead singer sounds like he's stuck in a claustrophobic situation the way he sings certain lines like "Eyes catching things never there!" and "Scared to make that final mistake, speak to hear the sound of your voice!" Perhaps the jam in the middle is overlong by a couple minutes and I could do without the actual speaking parts, but otherwise the atmosphere is solid, the synths are decent and the beat is fun.

"Accent on Youth" is perhaps the best song on the album. This vocal melody is more boisterous and focuses on melody more so than the other songs on Rage In Eden. The synths are used to magnificent effect as background beauty and creativity as they follow along to the vocals, but the song's honestly all about the energetic vocals that make it prevail so strongly. This song is memorable for those who like catchy vocal melody-dominated bands with a futuristic sound such as a Flock of Seagulls, Kim Wilde or Blondie. "You give me just enough rope for the task".

"The Ascent" has a fantastic disco-ish beat with a slightly eerie feel about it. Too bad it's so short. Wow, after this a sad violin line comes in while the beat persists- this is *really* impressive and original. Then a piano arrives briefly before "Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again)" starts. The sequence of impressive notes loses significant steam the moment this song begins. This is a quiet ballad of some kind. The song barely does anything. The lead singer speaks the title of the song occasionally (instead of singing) and the drums and piano sound like loud gunshots. None of this interests me at all. I wouldn't even call this a song in the typical sense. More like a chant with weird sound effects. That keyboard part at the end is neat at least.

Overall, Rage In Eden has 3 or 4 really memorable songs, and 3 or 4 lousy tunes. This is a weak and inconsistent album as a result.

A Single Shot
A Single Shot
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars missing the deer and hitting another target, September 30, 2015
A Single Shot is about a deer hunter played by Sam Rockwell who goes on an innocent hunting trip through the mountains and woods only to accidentally shoot and kill a woman. The eerie dark atmosphere that builds to this disturbing part is really amazing and perhaps realistic. I couldn't help but think Sam was shooting chaotically when it happened. In order to hunt you have to be patient and focus. He was certainly no experienced hunter the way he was shooting wildly.

I was wondering if the story was going to focus on Sam avoiding the law and hiding himself away in the woods as a means to protect his freedom and lie whenever he was questioned, or whether more storyline involving the woman was going to come into play. The film goes for the latter- Sam explores the campsite area where the woman was staying, and discovers a box with a lot of money. Later we discover the woman has a boyfriend (the character of Jason Isaacs) and he's out for revenge. This is a small town, people talk, and one thing leads to another and eventually Jason figures out Sam is the one who murdered his girl.

However (SPOILER!) we don't know Jason is the one targeting Sam for a while. All we know is that while Sam's either away from home or asleep, things happen around his home (such as a rock crashing through the front window with a threatening message attached to it, or Sam coming home and discovering the dead body of the woman he killed lying on his bed). This creates a good deal of suspense for the viewers. We're intrigued by the next events that'll come around to mess with Sam. Obviously someone out there knows Sam killed a woman but who? We want Sam to find the man who's targeting him which is sort of unintentionally hilarious since Sam's actually the bad guy here. After all he should've reported the woman's death after he shot her. Instead he hides the body (in the freezer eventually!) and tries to cover up the whole incident. I'm just saying it's hard to defend the murderer even though the plot revolves around him and even though it was an accident. He made some bad choices afterwards.

The characters are mostly memorable. Sam delivers a magnificent performance portraying a hunter trying to keep a low profile but occasionally freaking out at the slightest of sounds occurring outside his window fearing that the murderer is after him. The lawyer William H. Macy is crooked with his phony hairpiece so we know he's a weasel (his placement in the story is that he's trying to bring Sam and his young son together after what was apparently a divorce). Kelly Reilly works at a diner and looks after Sam's young son (not sure if they ever said this lady was the ex-wife/ex-girlfriend or somebody Sam just likes to hit on), Jason Isaacs is a convincing aggressive man out for revenge by any means necessary and plays his role amazingly well, and Ophelia Lovibond is an innocent horse rider who just happens to be at the wrong place and wrong time (without spoiling anything else). Great characters overall.

I'm actually torn whether I should give A Single Shot a 3 or 5-star rating. The 3 stars would be because these characters quietly mumble throughout the story making it incredibly difficult to understand what they're saying. This affects the suspense in a big unforgivable way because mumbling occurs the entire way through the movie. It means I have to rely on the events taking place on screen instead of being able to make out the conversational moments. That's a big flaw. However there's definitely several intriguing moments and the film honestly does every single thing right besides the mumbling talking portions (the suspense, writing and acting are all amazing) and the ending is REALLY good, so I'm going to give a Single Shot 5 stars.

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