Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Heavy Metal, based on original works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Loc-Nar has been released into the world and has let its evil leech into the universe. As we follow the stories of those it has touched the characters, events and styles change with the situation.

Will the Loc-Nar have its way and continue to pour its pure evil into the world or will it meet its end finally?

General Information

-Genre: Animated, Science-Fiction, Science- Fantasy, Adult Content

-Creator: based off of works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine

-Length: 90 minutes

-Film Rating: R (For violence, sexual situations and imagery, weapons, death and violent injury, blood and gore)

-Where to watch: STARZ, DVD, Blue-ray, or check your local library for a copy!

-Main Cast: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks, Martin Lavut, Marylin Lightstone, Eugene Levy, Alice Playten, Harold Remis, Susan Roman, Richard Romanus, August Shellenberg, Jon Vernon, Zal Yanovsky

-Page of Reference in RP1: 87

Review (contains spoilers):

This was super trippy but quite awesome! Gave me very Anamatrix vibes (we will be reviewing that one soon!) with all the stories tying back together but with all of them being written, created, and animated by different artists and creatives.

The overarching story was compelling but I was kind of thrown by just how adult a lot of the content was. I know it mentioned it at the beginning and it is rated R. I guess I was just thinking Princess Mononoke “R” not borderline pornography “R”.

Once I got past that it was a cool film. Definitely not for kids at all but from what I know about Heavy Metal magazine it seems to fit the theming really well. All the different art styles were cool. I love seeing how different animators see their style when given free reign. It makes me want to try and find some older copies of the magazine from the 1980s to see the stories this was based off of!

Overall, very cool and something I’ll probably watch again!

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts

Union of the Snake, by Duran Duran: a Song Review

General Information:

-Album Title: Seven and the Ragged Tiger

-Artist: Duran Duran

-Release Year: 1983

-Song Length: 4:20

-Genre: New Wave, Synthpop

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: 183

Lyrics:

Telegram force and ready
I knew this was a big mistake
There’s a fine line drawing
My senses together
And I think it’s about to break
If I listen close I can hear them singers, oh

Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

Nightshades on a warning
Give me strength at least give me a light
Give me anything even sympathy
There’s a chance you could be right
If I listen close I can hear them singers, oh

Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

If I listen close I can hear them singers, oh
Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

The union of the snake is on the climb
It’s gonna race, it’s gonna break, it’s gonna move up
Through the borderline

The union of the snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

The union of the snake is on the climb
It’s gonna race, it’s gonna break, it’s gonna move up
To the borderline

Review:

This is a Duran Duran song I’m at least familiar with.  I think listening to just two or three songs from a band is really hard to review because you don’t get the chance to feel out what their overall sound is and if they have evolved in their music.

This song is good.  The music makes me want to get up and move…I could vibe to it when I was listening to it for review.  The lyrics are clear and aren’t super repetitive which is a nice change from a lot of what I’ve been listening to lately.

This seems to be a progression of the sound from Duran Duran (though they still do fit firmly in that New Wave of the 1980s sound).  It’s a little fuller…a little more mature.  It feels like the just found “it”.

Not super spectacular.  I’m sure they have other songs I would like more but this one is fine.  It isn’t something I would skip on the radio…but I don’t think it will end up on any of my personal playlists anytime soon.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts

The Wild Boys, by Duran Duran: a Song Review

General Information:

-Album Title: The Wild Boys (single)

-Artist: Duran Duran

-Release Year: 1984

-Song Length: 4:18

-Genre: New Wave, Rock

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: 38

Lyrics:

Wild boys, wild boys, wild boys
Wild boys

The wild boys are calling on their way back from the fire
In August moon’s surrender to a dust cloud on the rise
Wild boys fallen far from glory, reckless and so hungered
On the razor’s edge you trail because there’s murder
By the roadside in a sore afraid new world

They tried to break us, looks like they’ll try again

Wild boys never lose it
Wild boys never chose this way
Wild boys never close your eyes
Wild boys always shine

You got sirens for a welcome, there’s bloodstain for your pain
And your telephone been ringing while you’re dancing in the rain
Wild boys wonder where is glory, where is all you angels
Now the figureheads have fell
And lovers war with arrows over secrets they could tell

They tried to tame you, looks like they’ll try again

Wild boys never lose it
Wild boys never chose this way
Wild boys never close your eyes
Wild boys always shine

Wild boys, wild boys, wild boys
Wild boys, wild boys, wild boys

Wild boys never lose it
Wild boys never chose this way
Wild boys never close your eyes
Wild boys always
Wild boys never lose it
Wild boys never chose this way
Wild boys never close your eyes
Wild boys always
Wild boys never lose it
Wild boys never chose this way
Wild boys never close your eyes

Review:

I don’t know much Duran Duran.  This is probably the first song of theirs ive listened to on repeat.  Its an interesting song.

I can’t decide if I like it or not.

For the 1980s New Wave/Rock scene it seems to fit well.  Like so many other songs I’ve reviewed there are the simple repetitive lyrics and a pretty simple beat that makes it catchy to the ear.  But the lyrics are more in line with some of the other bands that tell stories.

I can see why someone who likes bands like Rush and The Police would like Duran Duran. 

Honestly it is really easy to make playlists of a lot of this music to listen to because there are a lot of consistencies in the way the songs sound and feel.  It makes for cohesive and smooth playlists (and sometimes confusing ones where I can’t tell who is singing if I can’t look at the titles…).

I get it…decent song. Fits well into the sound that was coming from the scene in the 1980s.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts

REPOST: Dead Man’s Party, by Oingo Boingo: a Song Review

General Information:

-Album Title: Dead Man’s Party

-Artist: Oingo Boingo

-Release Year: 1985

-Song/Album Length: 6:21

-Genre: New Wave

-How to Listen: Spotify (linked below), Apple Music, iHeart Radio, Pandora, or find the album at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RPO: 3

Lyrics:

I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin’ with a dead man over my shoulder
I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin’ with a dead man over my shoulder

Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin’ to a party where no one’s still alive
Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin’ to a party where no one’s still alive

I was struck by lighting, walkin’ down the street
I was hit by something last night in my sleep
It’s a dead man’s party who could ask for more?
Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door
Leave your body and soul at the door

Don’t run away it’s only me
Only me

I’m all dressed up, nowhere to go
Walkin’ with a dead man (oh!) with a dead man
Ooh ooh, waitin’ for an invitation to arrive
Ooh! Walkin’ with a dead man, dead man (with a dead man)

I got my best suit and my tie
With a shiny silver dollar on either eye
I hear the chauffeur comin’ to my door
Says there’s room for maybe just one more

I was struck by lighting, walkin’ down the street
I was hit by something last night in my sleep
It’s a dead man’s party, who could ask for more?
Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door
Leave your body and soul at the door

Don’t run away it’s only me
Don’t be afraid of what you can’t see
Don’t run away it’s only me (only me)
Don’t be afraid of what you can’t see

It’s only me

I was struck by lighting, walkin’ down the street
I was hit by something last night in my sleep
It’s a dead man’s party, who could ask for more?
Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door
Leave your body and soul at the door

Don’t run away it’s only me (only me)
Don’t be afraid of what you can’t see
Don’t run away it’s only me (only me)
Don’t be afraid of what you can’t see

It’s only me

It’s only me
Only me
It’s only me
It’s only me
Only me (only me)
It’s only me
It’s only me
It’s only me
Ow!

Review:

While Oingo Boingo wasn’t often played in my house growing up I was super lucky to have been introduced to a ton of different music from the 1980s growing up.  Overall, I do really like this song.  Its rhythm and beat are catchy, and the lyrics are quite entertaining.

In the context of RPO I do understand why the character of Halliday chose this song to set his last will and testament to.  It has just enough of the morbid humor I feel he would have possessed as well as just having that genuine 1980s feel.  There is little chance of thinking that this song was made in any other time period.  Its just distinctly 80s.

The lyrics truly do feel like the fit the context of his will as well.  While he is dead it has the feel of a dance song which was fitting because he used this video to announce that he had built a contest into the OASIS.  This song has that kind of mischievous and upbeat feel in contrast to the idea of the lyrics.

Which I’m finding the more and more I research New Wave music seems to kind of be a running theme.

This song is also the first introduction to Halliday’s character and the fact that he likes to hide clues and little nods to his life throughout his work…and that sometimes what looks innocent actually holds a really important piece of information that you may need.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Big Trouble in Little China, created by John Carpenter: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Jack Burton is the all-American truck driver.  Big, burly, and rough around the edges.  When he arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco it seems like a normal trip.  He plays cards with his friend Wang Chi winning a huge bet against him.  In order to make sure he pays up; Jack decides to accompany him to the airport to pick up Wang’s childhood sweetheart turned fiancée who is on her way from China for their wedding.

As Miao Yin steps off the plane a Chinese street gang and sex traffickers called the Lords of Death attempt to kidnap a different girl but are thwarted by Jack Burton and her friend Gracie Law.  When this happens the gang instead grabs Miao Yin making off with her.  Jack and Wang follow in pursuit hoping to simply grab her back from the gang.

But when the duo stumbles into a gang fight and ends up facing down “The Three Storms”-a trio of ancient warriors with magical powers to control thunder, rain, and lightening- rescuing Miao Yin may not be as easy as the thought.  Especially not when the mysterious underground societies of magic that rumble beneath the Chinatown Jack knows and loves rear their ugly heads.

General Information:

-Genre: Fantasy Martial Arts Action Comedy

-Creator: John Carpenter

-Length: 99 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sexual innuendos and jokes, moderate fantasy and martial arts violence and gore, moderate profanity, mild use of alcohol and smoking, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kurt Russell, Kin Cattrall, Dennis Dun

-Page of Reference in RP1: 292

Review (contains spoilers):

This movie has no business being as good as it is.  It’s a martial arts fantasy action movie…about an ancient guy who needs a special green-eyed woman to marry in order to break the curse he is under.

It is ridiculous, over the top and atrociously cheesy but absolutely fantastic.

And I don’t know why!

There is nothing particularly great about any one part of this movie.  The effects are exactly what you would expect from a 1980s film.  Its kind of a traditional old school kung fu kind of movie.  Kurt Russel is…well….Kurt Russel.  The storyline is absurd.

But it all works.  I’m so glad that I finally sat down and watched this one.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts

Rebel Yell, by Billy Idol: a Song Review

General Information:

-Album Title: Rebel Yell

-Artist: Billy Idol

-Release Year: 1983

-Song Length: 4:47

-Genre: Rock

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: 184

Lyrics:

Last night a little dancer came dancin’ to my door
Last night a little angel came pumping on my floor
She said come on baby, I got a license for love
And if it expires, pray help from above, because

In the midnight hour, she cried more, more, more
With a rebel yell she cried more, more, more
In the midnight hour babe more, more, more
With a rebel yell more, more, more
More, more, more!

She don’t like slavery, she won’t sit and beg
But when I’m tired and lonely she sleeps in bed
What sets you free and brought you to me, babe
What sets you free, I need you here by me, because

In the midnight hour, she cried more, more, more
With a rebel yell she cried more, more, more
In the midnight hour babe more, more, more
With a rebel yell more, more, more

He lives in his own heaven
Collects it to go from the seven eleven
Well, he’s out all night to collect a fare
Just as long, just as long it don’t mess up his hair

I walked the world for you, babe
A thousand miles for you
I dried your tears, of pain, babe
A million times, for you

I’d sell my soul, for you, babe
For money to burn, for you
I’d give you all, and have none, babe
Just to, just to, just to, just to, to have you here by me, because

In the midnight hour, she cried more, more, more
With a rebel yell she cried more, more, more
In the midnight hour babe, more, more, more
With a rebel yell she cried more, more, more
More, more, more!

Ooh yeah, little baby
She want more
More, more, more, more, more!
Ooh yeah, little angel
She want more
More, more, more, more, more!

Review:

Once again, a song that was a solid 4 because it is generally great overall but nothing spectacular (sorry Billy Idol) gets a 5-star review BECAUSE IT HAS A RIDICULOUS STORY BEHIND IT!

So, Idol himself has confirmed the story behind the title of the song and album.  It all stemmed from a night out at a party with the Rolling Stones where he came upon them drinking a bottle of Bourbon.  The label had a man dressed in Confederate Grey riding a horse.  The brand? Rebel Yell.

The song isn’t about bourbon but only Billy Idol could: 1. Tell a story like that about where he got the title for a song and B. have us all believe it because it’s just that crazy.

He did say the song was about women being the strongest force in the world and the lyrics overall tell the story of the love between a man and a woman.  There has been a lot of speculation about the specifics of what is talked about…but honestly.  Its just a really good song.

The lyrics are solid, the music is catchy.  And it’s just fantastic all around.

And yes, you can still get Rebel Yell Kentucky

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts

Beds Are Burning, by Midnight Oil: a Song Review

General Information:

-Album Title: Diesel and Dust

-Artist: Midnight Oil

-Release Year: 1987

-Song Length: 4:18

-Genre: Rock

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Lyrics:

Out where the river broke
The blood-wood and the desert oak
Holden wrecks and boiling diesels
Steam in forty-five degrees

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
Now to pay our share

Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty-five degrees

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent now
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
We’re gonna give it back

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

Review:

Pretty solid light rock song.  It isn’t hard on the years…the lyrics are really similar to a lot of what I’m used to hearing throughout the late-‘80s.  Some of it is kind of nonsensical but overall, it’s pretty catchy and is definitely one that I’ll be adding to a few of my personal playlists.

As I looked for the lyrics for this song, I learned that it is a political protest song. Honestly, I’m finding it really interesting that a lot of the music that I’m listening to for this blog happen to be protest songs or off-kilter, off-trend music.  Though I guess that shouldn’t be too odd considering the nature of the book.

So, Midnight Oil is an Australian band… go listen to this song and their other music because its all pretty cool in my opinion.  But this song in particular was a protest against the government in Australia.  Apparently, there was forcible removal of the native Pintupi peoples from the Gibson Desert (it seems like a combination of what happened here in the US to our native peoples as well as the Japanese Internments of the 1940s…and well…if you’ve kept up with the US news the last few years is still occurring to other BIPOC).  These people weren’t and still haven’t been given apologies by the Australian government for their treatment of Aboriginal peoples even now.  Though the Pintupi people seem to be trying to return to their land since the early 1980s.

I find things like this absolutely fascinating because music is just a form of art and art can be so many things.  This song is catchy, the lyrics and melody are really easy to pick up and follow.  You can take it for that.  Or you can look deeper into the lyrics and the background of the band and the song.  And sometimes you find that it was actually something really deep and important.

So important in fact that Midnight Oil’s frontman, Peter Garrett, said of the song: “In retrospect it was the song we were born to record. It’s got all the bits to make it work, strong rhythms, good melody and the lyrics had some punch, while being very Aussie. t took a while to stick. It’s incredible how much it still gets played around the place… Who would have thought an Aboriginal land rights song would travel that far?”

So important that the Australasian Performing Right Association has placed it #3 on their Top 30 Australian Songs of the past 75 years.

And so important that my opinion of the rating for this song went from a 4 out of 5 (as a decent and pretty standard sounding, yet solid, late-1980s song) to a 5 out of 5.

Sometimes knowing what something is about makes it that much more powerful.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.