Friday, August 29, 2008
LOVE Jason Mraz's whimsically titled album 'we dance, we sing, we steal things'. Standout track for me is I'm Yours. Lucky, Live High and A Beautiful Mess are great too. His sound is a bit of reggae, bit of pop and ultimately a whole lot likeable.
This album really makes me smile
(I get the feeling they saved a whole lot of money on artwork for the album cover...)
I've also just been introduced to Newton Faulkner, of Dreams Catch Me fame. I actually thought that song was from Pete Murray because of the strong acoustic sound and depth of lyrics. I just bought his album 'Hand Built by Robots' from cdwow.com.au, but I've been listening to his tracks on his MySpace page and really loving his 'reggae voodoo' sound. I Need Something, All I Got and People Should Smile are great songs and he does a great rendition of Massive Attack's Teardrop too.
Rating: unrated as yet, because I haven't heard the entire album.
Hellboy 2 would've been a hell of a better movie if they'd stuck to the action, one-liners and stunning visual effects of the film. Unfortunately, they also had a go at bringing in some complicated emotions, but with a character that's big and red and a girlfriend that can't act, it's an ask that was too big to be delivered with any conviction – even by the talented Guillermo del Toro.
The strengths of the film lie in the action scenes, character designs and the creation of a whole fantasy world that exists so close to the real one. It's to del Toro's credit that the underground lairs near the subways and the market beneath the bridge seem so plausible. But in between the action scenes, Del Toro attempts to bring depth to the movie by developing its main characters, and this becomes the film's weakness.
First, there's Hellboy's continuing superhero-struggle of wanting to fit in and be accepted but having to face the hard fact that he's very different from the rest of mankind. This isn't given enough screen time to be developed with any depth, so the sentiment it adds to the movie is counteracted by the fact that it's done poorly. Secondly, tensions flare up between Hellboy and his girlfriend Liz, but there's no conviction in this plot so you don't really care (can someone please teach Selma Blair to act). Also, their friend the fishguy falls in love – the star-crossed kind that makes him act totally out of character at the end, but it wasn't developed enough to be plausible.
It's a fun ride with some interesting characters, but the downside was the lack of originality – too much of the movie smacked of other big budget flicks:
LOTR - an object of power gets split up among different races to ensure peace; also the long-blond-haired elegance of the elves seemed very a la Peter Jackson
Matrix - the fight scenes with the elven prince
Indiana Jones - a small and humble team of protagonists face the sheer overwhelming number of the golden army in the final scene
MIB - the whole 'secret organisation' thing
It's pretty much what you'd expect but nothing more.