DETENTION

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I can’t tell you anything about this film, really. If I give you touchstones, I’ll be helping you prepare yourself in some way. If I tell you that Joseph (TORRRRQUE!!!) Kahn is a genius and a visionary, you might think I’m crazy. If I say that there have to be filmmakers out there rejoicing that his film didn’t break wide because they’ll be stealing shit from it for years to come, well – that probably won’t help, either. How about if I tell you it’s hilarious and sad and perverse and gory and stylish and smart – will that help? You just need to see it. You really, really just need to see it.

TOTAL RECALL: THE DOUBLE DIP JUST IN TIME FOR A REMAKE EDITION

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I remember reading Roger Ebert’s review of this film – the one where he singled out Schatzi’s performance as one of real innocence and fear, spoke of wall-to-wall effects work, and touted the “what is a dream/what is real” narrative of Paul Verhoeven’s flick as a real mindbender. As a sixteen-year-old fan of Schwarzenegger, Rob Bottin, Phillip Dick, and RoboCop  – I was psyched.

I walked out of the movie hating it. It didn’t follow the original story, the special effects were often sloppy, and at no point was I as lost in the “mindfuck” storyline as the movie wanted me to be. I guess as a squib-filled blowing-shit-up-flick, it was okay – but I wanted it to be the amazing piece of sci-fantasy many believe it to be to this very day. If you’re one of those people – you need this disc.

I look back on Total Recall, and I really feel like Arnold is a fucking plank in this flick (he was told his character needed to be an “everyman,” and thought – “Ah – dis kind ov ooordinaree man iss bohring as dahg shitt, soh I weel be like dis dogshitt!”) – so I’m totally thrilled that Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside are on board and killing it. And I cannot deny that the film is pretty impressive in terms of scope and scale…

So even though I dislike the film…I’ll be picking up this disc. Lionsgate strikes again with an utterly gorgeous remaster of one of their catalog titles.

Now if they’d just drop Blu Rays of Dead Alive and Warlock – you can call me a happy clam!

4.3.2.1
ATM - I’m no prude, but I’d imagine ATM is horrific on a few different levels…
Body And Soul
Bunny Game
Detention
Fire With Fire
Force Of Evil
Fortress – I was really disappointed when I found out this wasn’t Stuart Gordon’s futuristic prison break flick.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Hatfields & McCoys
The Haunting of Whaley House
Heaven Strewn
Hijacked
How To Marry A Millionaire
La Grand Illusion
Le Havre (Criterion)
LOL – FYM ASMD
River Of No Return
Scalene
The Seven Year Itch
Shark Week: 25th Anniversary
Strike Witches: Season 1
Total Recall
We the Party


SHOVELS AND ROPE – O’ BE JOYFUL

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Taking a cue from the title song to the Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent toss some foot-stompin’ percussion and folk-metal guitar into their barroom tales and hard-luck love lessons. The CW comparisons continue with the close Everlys-like harmony of the male and female voices, but they eschew the backwoods purity of Williams and White for more rough-hewn, roadhouse “country” phrasing: imagine the plainspoken integrity of Loretta Lynn lavishly integrated with the reckless abandon of Jack White. They can make the simplicity of a phrase like “I hide myself in you” feel just as personal, and weirdly skewed, as, say, “Kemba’s Got The Cabbage Moss Blues.” When they try on a bit of “gospel,” it’s carnal as hell: the opener, “Birmingham,” features the couple recounting an evening of singing “Rock of Ages” in a drunken stupor; musically, the sound ranges from elegant acoustic trad to uptempo line-dance to dollops of Crescent City horns. And while love and booze are familiar topics, Hearst and Trent seem to have a particular gift for the ominous side of romance (“Tickin’ Bomb”, “Shank Hill St.”).

THENEWN02 – THEFEAROFMISSINGOUT

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I suppose that Dhani Harrison would prefer that his claim to fame be more than just having impersonated his dad for the Beatles Rock Band game, and there’s no question that the dense, droning electronica of his second collaboration with producer Paul Hicks here is pretty far removed from Fab Four territory (with the genial exception of the rather poppy “Make It Home”). With a lineup that includes Holly Marilyn, Ben Harper, Thorunn Antonia, and RZA, if your favorite Harrison pere moments are more Wonderwall than All Things Must Pass, dig in.

CHRISTIAN SCOTT – CHRISTIAN ATUNDE ADJUAH

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Jesus on the Second Line, with fashion statement by Janelle Monae and the Wild Tchopitoulas. And trumpeter whiz-kid Scott loves to trip you up by slapping a typical N’Awlins title (“New New Orleans (King Adjuah Stomp)”, say, or “Of Fire (Les Filles de la Nouvelle Orleans)”) on the more experimental pieces (Satchmo, meet Brian Eno and Dick Dale), while reserving his more direct approach for topics like the sexual exploitation of African women (“Fatima Aisha Rokero 400″), bloody racism in “When Marissa Stood Her Ground,” or simply the difficulty of selling complex, thought-provoking music in today’s corporate environment (“Who They Wish I Was”). And like the best jazz “progressives,” he gets the chops down first: every note feels like something utterly spontaneous yet perfectly placed, with lockdown ensemble accompaniment from his stellar band, including guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Kris Funnm and drummer Jamire Williams.

OTHER NOTABLE 7/31 RELEASES:

Big week for reissues, actually: in addition to the Mingus, Monk and Marley collections cited above, there are complete remaster editions of the catalogs of, among others, Blur and the Mothers of Invention (Zappaphiles take note: these are evidently remasters of the original studio versions of the albums, without some of the bonus material that turned up on previous CD issues).

20/20, 20/20 & Look Out! (remastered)
Charm City Devils – Sins
Evoken – Atra Mors
Gloriana – A Thousand Miles Left Behind
Jackyl – Best in Show
Joey + Rory – His & Hers
Bob Marley & the Wailers – In Dub: 1
Charles Mingus – Complete Albums Collection
Thelonious Monk – Complete Albums Collection
Coka Nostra – Masters of the Dark Arts
Phish – Chicago ’94
Joshua Radin – Underwater
Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury
Rick Ross – God Forgives I Don’t
Terje Rypdal – Odyssey: In Studio & In Concert
Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2
Testament – Dark Roots of Earth
Toadies – Play.Rock.Music


RISEN 2: DARK WATERS (PS3, 360)

Risen 2 hits consoles after a short delay. I played a bit of the PC demo…and discovered a pirate-themed RPG with some major bugs. Nothing exciting, and certainly no Gothic 2. There are some fun ideas that western RPG players might enjoy, but if the 360 port of the first Risen is any indication the console editions should be an even bigger buggy mess. Wait until its inevitable price drop. In three weeks.

KINGDOM HEARTS: DREAM DROP DISTANCE (3DS)

As a big fan of JRPGs and Disney, I should love these games. They were seemingly made for me. But I’ve actually tried them all and haven’t finished a single one since Kingdom Hearts 2. It’s not the insane, convoluted plot that turns me off (if a game has the Square Enix logo, that’s practically a feature) but the stale mechanics and endless loop of reused assets. The idea of visiting Disney worlds and questing with iconic characters loses it’s luster when you do the same thing with the same characters over a series of six games. And I’ll be giving it a shot again. I don’t think Dream Drop Distance (Get it? 3D! So clever) is the one that is going to break the mold, but it looks like Square is finally trying to change things up a bit.

And hey, at least it has a better title than 358/2 Days. They could have called it Droning Dick Drippers and it’d still be a better title than 358/2 Days, though.

Next week…something truly wondrous occurs.

FIN.