Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Senator Was Indiscreet

lowgrade piffle from 1948 about a windbag senator that has presidential aspirations and looses his diary- avoid like the plague D-

technology marches on

the demise of VHS has been predicted for years and now the industry is forcing folks to get rid of thier videotapes- just went by Hollywood video and snagged 15 movies for 30 dollars- classic films with stars like Gary Cooper & Shirley McClaine in them- now being sold off for next to nothing to make more room for Star Wars prequels and season 5 of The Sopranos

sure time marches on and technology gets old- but I really think this technology switch is more market driven then neccisity- in other words- of course less videotapes rent if you significantly diminish your rental stock while building a DVD library

of course one man's folly is another's windfall

here are the tapes I snagged today

snagged from Hollywood videos VHS blowout - clubland , Tunnelvision , That Forsythe Woman , The Senator Was Indiscreet , Green Dolphin Street , Stalker , The House Where Evil Dwells , They Drive By Night ,Two for The Seesaw , Bedtime Story ,Cloak & Dagger ,Solaris (Tarkovsky version) , Ball of Fire & The Devil & Miss Jones

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

recent movies

The Pacifier- cute tuff guy plays nanny flick with Vin Diesel as the seal who protects the family of a genuis.Nothing spectacular- but it has enough funny and a duck to be ok family viewing C-

7 Seconds- another disposable Wesley Snipes action flick- lots of fighting and car wrecks D+

Too Late For Tears- Lizbeth Scott is the villian of this noir flick from the late 40s- a couple finds money- the money leads to problems and death and betrayal and whatnot . C+

The Man Who Cheated Himself- Jane Wyatt is a rich woman who despises her hubby and is in love with a detective- sadly the detective's brother is assigned the murder case of her husband. C+

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Black Shampoo


Just finished watching Black Shampoo - a 70's Blaxploitation flick from Greydon Clark(director of such B-movie shenigans as The Bad Bunch,Joysticks & Skinheads).A paperthin plot loosely based on Warren Beatty's Shampoo - ok well more written to capitalize on the publicity of Shampoo. John Daniels is the hero of the piece - a studly hairdresser who seems to be more of a stud for hire than stylist- sadly John Daniels has very little personality or charisma and seems disinterested whenever women seduce him. Somehow he manages to hire a shapely receptionist(played by Tanya Boyd) who is a former kept woman of a rich bad guy-
of course Daniels falls for her and gets entangled in her problems-luckily there was a chainsaw on the rented cabin set ,,,, Black Shampoo is a terrible film- and very much fun- tons of gratutious nuditity,ridiculous dialogue and a monotone audio commentary by the director(during a nude love scene he mentions how professional the leads were and that they liked each other)- the DVD also includes deleted scenes without audio- the scenes from the C&W Bar-B-Que with the piefight and the chicken toss are dadaist masterpieces. If you are looking for a fun escapist unintentional comedy Black Shampoo is a must rent.
my copy of the Daily Show DVD came in- besides the audio commentary I think I already have 95% of the set on DVD-r - also snagged Black Shampoo- directed by Greydon Clark- director of The Bad Bunch,Skinheads,Final Justice,Joysticks and other grade-Z entertainment

saw Force of Evil today- an excellent film from the 40s- great noir flick about the policy racket and the bond between 2 brothers- John Garfield was absolutely stunning as the crooked lawyer looking out for his older brother and the dialogue was crisp.A personal fave of Martin Scorsese - he introduced the film and well Marty is right- good film-worth seeking out A

just finished Gunner Palace an interesting documentary about solidiers camped out in Uday Hassan's party palace in the outskirts of Baghdad.A numbing mix of hilarity,fear,death & survival & more death. It may be a cliche- but war is hell- a round the clock insurgency must be the modern purgatory- worth checking out no matter what your view on the invasion is. B+

Thursday, June 23, 2005

just got in from watching game 7 of the NBA finals- and honestly I was not emotionally invested at all- odd- since I was huge into the Pistons just last year- but this year I have not followed teh association that much or the Pistons and it has nothing to do with the Artest riot or whatnot- more just lack of time-

my job is ok- but it eats up time - I am not a fan of long work weeks- I think it just burns people out and stunts productivity-

that being said I need to focus on the positive so I don't submarine my current employment status-

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Day 2

of being off from work- followed by Day 3- finally some rest

The Lonely Guy-a fun Steve Martin romantic comedy from the 80s with Charles Grodin,Loni Anderson,Dr.Joyce Brothers and others.Absurd from the first secen one- we follow Larry Hubbard through a frustrating breakup and his adjustment to being single in NYC.Tons of funny moments and cameos- worth seeking out B+

Monday, June 20, 2005

Rutles 2

Rutles 2 - well- let's cobble together the old footage with new interviews and sell it again- reheated and lukewarm at best- it still had some improvs from Tom Hanks,Gary Shandling & David Bowie- but not even in the same ballpark @ the first Rutles flick C-

I watched the new Morgan Spurlock show -30 days - it was about living on the poverty level- it was amazing,funny and sad.The current pay level system in the US is so totally overbalanced towards the executives- low level employees are basically fucked .

I had a weird dream about a former college friend that is in Iraq- I have no idea why I had the dream and I hope he is ok.

Had dinner @ a really nice place in Norfolk last night - their fish and chips was nothing short of amazing....

man I sound like the Larry King of the blogosphere- I guess I need a thesaurus or at least some inspiration

so I tune into the end of the NBA game last night and watch the OT- then I zone out after Horry's big shot- guess I just missed a defensive stop by the Spurs...

Horry should be put into the Hall of fame just for his postseason heroics- he truly is mister clutch....

Sunday, June 19, 2005

it is late I am tired

am happy the gf is back from her sojourn- I really missed her

very brief reviews on DVDs I watched this weekend

Bigger Than The Sky - a Portland community theater group does Cyrano -without the nose- a fun little flick about big dreams and grabbing feathers C+

Cursed - Christina Ricci may be a werewolf or something- a fun horror/comedy movie C+

Miss Congeniality 2 - inconsistent Sandra Bullock comedy sequel- I liked it enough to finish it - not enough to see it again C-

Friday, June 17, 2005

Poolhall Junkies

a decent poolhall yarn with Chaz Palmentari,Christopher Walken,Rod Stieger & others. C+

so yesterday the gf calls to tell me that there was 5.3 earthquake in LA where she is presently- yet she did not feel it cuz she was driving at the time

just glad she is safe and having a good time

well time for shower and shave b4 work-

Thursday, June 16, 2005

From Russia to Hollywood

Follows the careers of Michael Chekov & George Shdanoff- 2 Russian imigre's that were the acting teachers for the Hollywood elite - this is a very dry documentary- but it was neat to see archival footage from Czarist Russia on up- basically would talk about the methods used to act and would show examples with some of their famous pupils- including Marilyn Monroe,James Dean,Gary Cooper,etc. narrated by Gregory Peck - another student 0f these 2 . I enjoyed the documentary- but I think it would put most folks to sleep unless they are history buffs with a taste for old Hollywood B-

The Last Shot

Just finished watching the Last Shot - a movie about a fake movie sting operation by the FBI- It had some very funny moments and a decent cast(Matthew Broderick,Alec Baldwin,Toni Collette,Joan Cusack).Based on true events - it is a decent small comedy about the Hollywood dream B-

WWE:The Road Warriors- a great 2 disc compilation of the biggest matches of the most dominant tagteam in sports entertainment A

The Greatest Superstars of the Eighties - a superlative 3 disc look at the biggest wrestling stars of the 80s- now that the WWE owns the libraries of all the defunct promotions they continue to put out great compilations of vintage rasslin'. This set has retrospectives on Roddy Piper,Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan,Bobby Heenan,Superfly Snuka and 10 others- it also has bonus matches and segments with the wrestlers- a must have for any fan of grappling A+

The Shield Season 3 - FX continues with the good pulp drama- the Shield is harsh.gritty and polarizing- this show is entancing and hard to watch all at once- A

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The sickness

the apartment feels wierd- the gf is out of town for a few days- she had an early plane- so I guess I slept thru her departure- I hope she is alright and has fun

....in several chapters of his book Roddy Piper describes "the sickness" - basically doing whatever it took to "get over" with the fans- be it hated or loved- depending on his character arc....

I have a different sickness- the consumer flu- sometimes I want things I can not afford to purchase - and purchase them anyway- yesterday was just that sort of day

I was watching WWE Raw Monday and I saw an ad for "The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80s"- I had to get that DVD- sadly the first place I went to trade in my old DVDs was closed- so I went to another place and got $26 bucks for some old movies and games- then I went to Borders- they did not have the DVD- so for the first time in a year I saddled up and went to the mall- Suncoast had the DVD - of course I love DVDs and went on a mini-spree- I got the WWE DVD for the Road Warriors and season 8 of M*A*S*H- it has my favorite episode - the Dreams episode and also Gary Burghoff's first attempt to avoid being typecast- as he leaves the show-sadly I saw a terrible flick with Burghoff that he co-wrote- it was just a really bad horror flick with Burghoff trying to play evil-

and I also got Wrestling Vixens- not much plot on it - just a bunch of softcore vinnettes with former wrestling divas dancing

and 2 comps- one with 9 sci-fi flicks including Metropolis and The Shape of Things to Come
and one with noir flicks

I was off from work yesterday- I called in and orchestrated my escape- I am off today and tomorrow also- I need this- cuz I know one of my main workers is looking for work elsewhere and when she leaves god knows how many manhours I will have to work

Monday, June 13, 2005

Pay Per View

ECW 1 Night Stand - now that was worth the money- not just for the high spots and the mad bumps - or even the hot shot cameos- but for the whole event- sure some of the matches were not up to the stellar par of earlier ECW matches- but the emotion of the event and the mania that swallowed the evening was a thrill to drink in- this event was unique- no real storylines to hype the matches or PPV(except for a Smackdown/Raw crusade thingy)- just some solid promos and intense matches.When this PPV makes it's way to DVD I think it would worth owning- the thing about this PPV that made it unique and fun and worthwhile - was that it was unique and fun and worthwhile- it had dream matchups from the past- tons of wrestling superstars from several promotions and was intense from beginning to end- I wish more PPVs had that vibe-

today has been a long day- woke up @ 7 a.m. to take my car in for an oil-change and new tire-then I worked til 6 p.m.-

finally got season 3 of the Shield on DVD- found it for rent- for $4.69- much more affordable than 60 bucks to purchase it-yippee

today's good news-one of my favorite co-workers is coming back to my store - should make life much more liveable

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Dirty Shame- watched the nueter version(R instead of NC17) - the movie had some funny moments in it- but it really felt like it was supposed to be "shocking" or something and well it just was not-set in Baltimore(even featuring a character from the last season of the Wire) - this flick is about a family that is half prude and half horndog- or so we are led to believe-Tracy Ullman does a good job as Stacey Stickles the 12th- so does the rest of the cast- but the movie never really jelled for me C-

did not go walking yestereday cuz it was raining during our window of oppurtunity to walk yesterday- today I ain't walking cuz I am doing a 15 hour shift and that will be walking enough

I also tried to watch Trauma with Colin Firth- it just seemed to mopey- so I ejected it

Thursday, June 09, 2005

XerciZe

man - I am out of shape- I admit I just don't like walking very much- why cuz in the pre-vehicle days of my youth I burned many minutes getting to the fun- of course this kept me in decent shape for years- but given the choice between watching movies and surfing the net or exercising and feeling sore and achy - I choose laziness- part of it is work- burned out beyond the crisp

but lately I have been missing playing basketball- I love hoops- when I was a kid I wanted to be a football player- but basketball was the easiest game to find - so I find myself playing hoops more and more- actually 3 years ago I was playing 3-5 days a week- and I loved it- didn't mind the aches and pains - until I landed flush on my knee- the whole not being able to walk regular thing flipped me out- so I choose to stop playing

then I watched Hoop Dreams a few weeks ago and a customer had a basketball in the store - I pratically begged him for some handle time- I did some behind the back and ball-rolling with the orange orb- it felt like home

that being said - I need to train - in other words my current girth will not allow me to just leap on the court and be competitive- so I have made a decision - to start walking every morning with the gf- today was our first day- I did ok- but my foot felt a little flat half way thru- we did a 20 minute trek today- thank allah for the iPod- anyhow

today I tried to watch Mr. Moto's Last Warning - a pre WW2 espionage flick with Peter Lorre,George Sanders and a Carradine- it could not hold my interest

so more Buffy

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

incomplete

lately I have not been finishing movies- so I can't possibly write about them- this week alone I shut off Be Cool,Criminal,Oceans 12 and Super Troopers- none of those flicks captured my imagination at all- although Super Troopers may get squeezed in eventually-I love silly goofball comedies.

lately I have been obsessed with Buffy- in the past week I have watched seasons 1 &2 of Buffy and am working my way thru disc 3.It is campy fun

I admit I am wanting to order the ECW 1 night Stand PPV this Sunday- I think it may be a smark's dream- the ending of Raw was nice- but still does not make up for the failed Invasion angle of 2001- as a former WCW fan I feel that the WWF really dropped the ball by building the Invasion around mid-carders- sure they eventually bought in Goldberg,Big Poppa Pump,Flair and the nWo - but by then it was too late-.They have underutlized the cruiserwieghts and they shortcircuited the Women's division as soon as it started to have some good matches. think HHH is a good heel- but he needs to be off tv for awhile- the general populace is bored of him IMHO.

I miss the Monday night wars- the sense of competition mixed with the feeling that you could not miss a moment on either show was really fun- I used to flip back and forth between each show for 3 years- sure WCW managed to drop the ball severly- but I still watched them.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Imaginary Heroes

Sigourney Weaver is a pothead MILF in this this odd and interesting dark comedy about a family dealing with suicide,aging and the burbs.This movie has a nice pace to it and some genuinely funny moments mixed in with the melancholy.Written and directed by newcomer Dan Harris- this is a promising debut.The deleted scenes are worth watching also- some funny stuff.
B+

Prince leggings of boot (please don't sue me)

Prince bootlegs

The Spooky Electric NCE Records- live concert recordings from 1987 and 1988. The sound quality is for shit- but the band is on it- a beautiful cover of "Just My Imagination Running Away with Me" kicks off the disc and a killer 15 minute medley of "Mutiny","Sex Machine" and "Housequake" ends this disc in fine fashion- it's a shame that the recording is not better- the band is so tight- so funky- B (docked for the sound quality)

The White Album 1988 Toasted Records- concert recording from the Lovesexy tour- the sound quality is ok- the tracks are cut to accomadte the medleys that he was doing at the time. C

Heaven Must Be Near Musichen Studio Outtakes 1985-1990- crappy and inconsistent sound quality litter this collection of odds and sods- includes demo versions of "The Screams of Passion(you can Prince arranging the song on the track)" and "Manic Monday" and personal faves like "If You Break My Heart","Power Fantastic" and "Crucial" C

A Nice Piece of Shortass:Small Club Second Show That Night 1988 x Records- A killer 2 disc set live from 1988- killer sound, the band is tight as fuck and the band and the crowd seem to be having fun. The finale "R.A.D.E." is the absolute bomb track- I think I would have keeled over(from dancing) and died a happy man if I were in the audience for this performance- oh my god - just a solid build until the climax and then the band goes into overdrive. A+

Chicken Grease Midnight Beat records - a collection of Prince covering other people's tunes - sound quality is inconsistent on this one.Includes "Car Wash","Miss You", "I Believe",etc. C-

Princesex-EM Records studio outtakes 1983-1990- includes the long version of "Computer Blue" and demo's of "Jerk Out" and "The Question of U".Crappy sound quality-"Open Book" is a decent 'lost' song. D+

His Majesty's Pop Life The Ultimate Remixes1992 Master Pieces INC.- remixes without end or purpose- avoid at all costs F

The Jewel Box outtakes 1980-1991 1992 Underground Records- a 3 disc set- varying sound quality from track to track- Includes such hidden gems as "In All My Dreams","Data Bank","The Girl Of My Dreams"-plus early demos for "G-Spot","Dance Electric" and others.Probably one disc of good stuff can be culled from the 3 discs. C

The Black Album 1988 The Wizard. The Black Album plus "In All My Dreams" and my favorite version of "Old Friends For Sale". Sound quality is ok -for a bootleg. B

The Black Album .Capora; 6708 sabam - besides a decent copy of the Black Album you get 8 songs from the Crystal ball sessions including a great version of "Can't Stop". B

This does not include the vinyl bootlegs I have

Prince 90s

Diamonds and Pearls-1991 Paisley Park. Once again great tracks like "Money Don't Matter Tonight" and "Gett Off" mixed in with filler like "Cream" and "Thunder".The title track is mildly pleasing. D+

0+> - 1992 -Paisley Park - A decent JB ripoff with "Sexy MF" and an attempt to infiltrate the modern dance floors with "I Wanna Melt With U" highlight the first TAFKAP album - another inconsistent effort filled with songs that are decent but not earth-shattering. C-

The Hits/The B-Sides- 1993 Warner Brothers- a darned nice mini-box set with most of the hits,a few new tunes and several classic flip-sides. The collection is frustrating cuz it omits "Love or $" and "Good Love"- but it is still a great introduction to Prince. A

Come 1958-1993 1994 Warner Brothers - Solid grooves and confident music fomes from the dead man - the 11 minute opening track and the single "Letitgo" have a fun smooth groove to them-"Loose" is another attempt at techno dance music- this song failed to get played in clubs- but has a blistering guitar solo and ferocious pace that works except when the song is slowed down to utilize the techno cliches of that time. The disc also includes the creepy tune "Papa" about a child getting beaten up by his old man- B-

The Gold Experience -1995 NPG/Warner Records - wow Prince is all cyber( we get keyboard sound effects in between every song- thankfully this disc has one of his best ballads "Shhh" and the hit "The Most Beautiful Girl in The World". Also has a tune that still works like a charm in dance clubs "P. Control". A solid effort. B-

Chaos and Disorder -1996 Warner Brothers Records- Prince's last album for Warner Brothers- more rock than his other albums in the 90's -some say this was a contractual obligation kiss-off album and I admit I have not given this a fair shake- I own it- but I need to listen to it more in-depth before I can grade it . I

Girl 6-1996 Warner Brothers- not a proper album but the soundtrack to the Spike Lee film- but a decent collection of Prince and Prince written tunes includes excellent B-sides like "Erotic City" and "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore"- also has "Nasty Girl" by Vanity 6 and the hard to find "Screams of Passion" by the Family. A decent bargain if you should see it ina bargain bin. B-

Emancipation-1996 NPG Records - finally free from the shackles of Warner Brothers - Prince delivers a 3 CD set- ahh who am I kidding I have heard this disc a few times - but could I honestly give an grade - nope I know I like the cover of "Betcha By Golly Wow" but this will have to be another incomplete. I

Crystal Ball- 1997 NPG Records - a sprawling 3 disc compilation of flip-sides,bootlegs and other stuff from the vault -s ome truly fun tunes on this compilation including the hilarious "Movie Star","Crucial" - some songs are over 10 minutes long - this is not essential- but a decent look into the vaults- also includes a 4th disc of new acoustic material. C

New Power Soul - 1997 NPG Records - a party funk record- I love this record- no new ground is broken - but this is a fun record with several good dance tunes- also track 49 is the hidden gem "Wasted Kisses". B-

Symbolism:The Prince Songbook 1998 The Connoisseur Collection-a compilation of other artists covering Prince tunes includes Cyndi Lauper's cover of "When You Were Mine", "Sex of It" by Kid Creole and hits like "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton and "Manic Monday" by The Bangles- an easy way to fill gaps in your Prince collection- C-

The Vault:Old Friends For Sale - 1999 Warner Brothers - a decent comilation of vault material- most of it blues and jazz tinged soul type tunes. C+

Rave un2 the joy fantastic - 1999 NPG Records - not a good thing when the best tune is a cover of a Sheryl Crow tune- but the discofied version of "Everyday is a Winding Road" works for me- ok not really- but niether does this disc. D-

94 East 1999 Dressed To Kill Records - someone taped Prince before he became famous and occassionally sells these recordings to collectors- a collection of 70's jam sessions with Prince- a curio at best. D-

The very best of Prince -2001 Warner Brothers records- The K-Tel Collection of the obvious hits from the Prince catalogue- no surprises here- good for casual Prince fans and DJs looking for a one disc Prince comp for their stash A The Rainbow Children 2001 NPG - a solid record B

random purple thoughts

I tried to approach the albums from a outsider perspective- but truthfully I love Prince and am just frustrated by his inconsistent quality.
I loved Parade when it came out- but some of it feels forced or unneeded- so I gave it a B- like I said earlier most of these albums I loved almost blindly for years- this is my first major re-evaluation of his stuff in years.
Used to be a big thing when the new Prince cassette came out- I would listen to that tape for days and weeks- that changed when Batman came out- but I can remember staying after school to get my new cassette of Around The World in A Day and walking 2 miles to get Parade. I remember making a boot copy of Sign of The Times with my own zeroxed cover- I remember getting Lovesexy and being so taken with "Anna Stesia"- that I rewound the tape to hear that song one more time.Batman was a neat time for me cuz I finally had access to cable so I got to see "Batdance" and "Partyman" on a regualr basis- since then things have changed drastically- Grafitti Bridge was ruined by bootlegs- in other words I had copies of several songs from the album before it was released and most of bootleg tunes were better verions of the songs then the ones on the album.

Prince the 80's - reviews

Prince part 1

For You- 1978 Warner Brothers- Inconsistent introduction to Prince - is a mix of sappy ballads,dance tracks and one scorching guitar jam "I'm Yours"- This album also includes his first hit r&b hit "Soft and Wet" a mid-tempo tune that sounds dated at this point in time- I also like Prince's heavenly chorus sound on the acapello opener "For You". Skip this record unless you are collector of Prince stuff.It is not terrible but not essential C

Prince- 1979 Warner Brothers Records- a decent sophomore effort - starts with the monster smash "I Wanna Be Your Lover"- a catchy and danceable tune- the album version also has a neat jam at the end that is not on the Very Best of Prince compilation.Other highlights include the taut funk tune "Sexy Dancer" and the beautifully atmospheric "When We're Dancing Close and Slow".The album also includes "Bambi" a song where he tries to convince a lesbian that "It's better with a man"- the song seems almost forced- like he feels the need to rock and be shocking- specially since it is sandwiched between 2 very traditional ballads.This album also includes the original version of "I Feel For You"- it has been eons since I have heard the Chaka Khan remake- but that is the version I would perfer-this version feels like album filler at best.Side one of this album is a keeper- side 2 sounds like filler at this point. C+

Dirty Mind - 1980 Warner Brothers- hard to believe that this album was shocking at one time- it was considered vulgar,groundbreaking,blah,blah,blah- this album has a few great tracks "When You Were Mine","Dirty Mind" and "Uptown" - but is hindered by songs that seem to want to shock like "Sister" and "Head". This album has not aged well- legend has it that this was a demo tape that was released as an album and it does have that raw feel- which is good on some tracks- but leaves it lacking in other places. C+

Controversy- 1981 Warner Brothers - Prince tries to incorporate politics into the mix and fails with "Ronnie Talk To Russia" and the underproduced serial killer tune "Annie Christian". Once again the album starts off strongly with robo-thump of the title track- a funky fun song where he talks about the things people say about him."Do Me Baby" is a lovely ballad- Prince pulls together a convincing argument to "Do me...like you've never done before"- definitely swoonworthy."Private Joy" is a catchy tune and "Let's Work" is a decent funk groove. Once again the album is held back by another tune that seems like it would be at home on a 80's sex comedy soundtrack "Jack U Off"- another attempt to rock and shock - that fails. C

1999- 1982 Warner Brothers- orginally a double album- now availiable as a single CD- make sure your copy has "D.M.S.R"- some early editions omitted the the track. Prince is hitting on all cylinders.Highlights include the album version "1999" which includes the 2 minute chant/chorus that I love that is omitted from the single version,"Little Red Corvette","Lady Cab Driver" a funk tune that eventually has him nailing the cab driver and dedicating each thrust to different people and the pilot ballad "International Lover".I also enjoy the moodier tunes like "Automatic" and "Something in The Water(Does Not Compute)" a tune in which Prince pines over a girl that rejects him-this is not a traditional ballad but a wierd cyber blues kind of keyboard,drum machines and screams kind of thing - by the time he is screaming at the end of the song I believe him- A confident,diverse and enthralling album from start to finish. A

Purple Rain 1984 Warner Brothers - 1999 left Prince ready to be the next big thing. With Purple Rain Prince was the it-man for a part of 1984- the album was number one while the movie was number one at the box-office. The album starts off with the energetic "Let's Go Crazy" and includes the funk stomper "Baby I'm A Star" and monster hits "Purple Rain" and "When Doeves Cry". A solid album that seemed to signal the ascension of Prince to rock royalty,etc... A

Around The World in a Day -1985-Paisley Park-after making it big - Prince decided to find himself by traveling to India with Mia Farrow- not really - but this is Prince's psychedelic album - very inconsistent- includes some interesting experiments like "Paisley park" and the title track and the bruising funk groove of "America"( a woefully dated anti-communist rant- but a damned good groove). The hits "Pop Life" and "Raspberry Beret" still hold up as catchy pop tunes but other songs lumber along - "The Ladder" is a clunky attempt to create a gospel tune, "Condition of The Heart" is pretty but too damned long at 6:48. "Tamborine" is stripped down failure of a funk groove- not even good b-side material.The album is finished off by a 7 minute blues blues thing called "Temptation" in which Prince talks to god played by himself- I used to like this tune- but I doubt I have the stamina for it now. C

Parade -1986 Paisley Park- Prince seems to right the ship- he uses some psychedelic elements in this album("Christopher's Tracy's Parade" & "Life Can Be So Nice") - but not with the over-bearing inclusiveness of the previous concept album. Also Prince seems to honed the idea of stripped down funk that failed on the last album with "Tamborine" and refined it to perfection with "Kiss" and "New Position"- the album is another inconsistent effort-some of it too cute "Do U Lie?", some seems like filler - the instrumental "Venus De Milo" is pretty - but not really essential and the melodramatic "Sometimes It Snows in April" probably would annoy all but the most loyal Prince fans.Other albums cuts include the minor hit "Mountains" and grinding funk of "Anotherloverholenyohead".A decent but inconsistent album. B-

Sign O The Times -1987 Paisley Park - A double album that seemed to signal that Prince had finally started to mature- a great mix of tunes and styles- Highlights include "Forever in My Life",the funky "Housequake","The Ballad of Dorothy Parker","Starfish and Coffee". Some songs ahve not aged well like the title track - the best version is in the movie "Sign Of The Times" and others like "Slow Love" and "Hot Thing" are retreads of old ideas- both are done well - but not earth-shattering. Disc 2 is simply my favorite disc- "If I was Your Girlfriend" is a simmering groove with quality lyrics- no longer interested in simply shocking his audience - Prince is trying to seduce them intellectually- on this song he succeeds. This side also features another song that is one of my all time favorites- the guitar driven "I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man"- a great lyric,melody and groove all come together in this near perfect tune.- the album version includes a great guitar solo that is not in the single version.Also included are the urban radio hit"Adore" and the live funk shenigans of "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night". A+

Lovesexy -1988-Paisley Park In an gesture of annoying self-importance- Prince has released this CD as one track instead of 9 tracks- very annoying- I mean this is a decent album- but geezus fuck - sometimes I just want to hear "Anna Stesia" without having to scan through 3 other songs- This disc has the hit "Alphabet Street". C+

The Black Album -1988 Warner Brothers-supposed to be released in 1988- it was pulled and Lovesexy was released instead- for years it was the legendary unreleased album finally released in the mid 90's- probably would have been a flop commercially- a decent funk album with some good tunes including "Superfunkicalifragisexy","Le Grind","Rock Hard in a Funky Place" and "Cindy C". Other tunes have good grooves but are simply embarrassing like his anti-rap tune "Dead on It". Some decent raw funk tunes- but probably not radio friendly.Another inconsistent effort. C

Batman 1989 - Prince records a multiplatinum soundtrack for the box-office smash Batman- oddly most of the music in the movie sounds like the Danny Elfman score- if I remember correctly you hear one Prince song in the background during a nightclub scene in the movie.Another inconsistent set - it starts off strongly enough with "The Future". "Scandalous" is a pretty ballad and "Partyman" is decent funk tune- Sadly most of the tunes seem thrown in- like b-sides that been laying around for awhile. I will admit that I like "Batdance"- it is clunky in parts but it has some neat parts and some killer grooves - hard to believe this was such a huge radio hit. This multi-platinum album is stuffed with filler- but has a few decent cuts. C-

Graffiti Bridge 1990 Paisley Park - another inconsistent album from Prince- a phrase that pretty much sums up the Prince output in the 90's. This disc has some killer cuts including the hypnotic "Joy in Repitition: and the party vibe of "The Latest Fashion" which pairs up Prince with The Time.But is filled with subpar material. C-

Ok- this is incomplete- and oddly up until the early 90's I would have probably given all of his early 80's albums higher grades- but times change. I feel wierd critiquing his stuff- since he is so talented - but sometimes I wish he were less prolific.
tried watching Be Cool last night- I passed out half way thru- of course the first question is - why would I watch the sequel to a movie I loathed(Get Shorty just felt swarmy to moi)- ok the answer -Duane Johnson A/K/A The Rock- - the thing just felt forced-hopefully the other movies I rented will entertain me more-I am currently on Season 2 of Buffy- I really like the show so far-specially the Giles character and Cordellia

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Death Sport
a non-sequel sequel to the Corman produced Death Race 2000-this one lacks the goofy humour of Death Race.Bascially David Carradine and Claudia Jennings are "guides"(sort of like hunter/fighter/gypsy leaders) and they are corralled by the deranged leader of a local city-state to participate in a gladiator type game with motorcycles that are called death machines-The movie has tons of explosions- a typical plot and a sword fight that seems to stylistically ape Star Wars.One of the more bizarre sequences in the flick is when the insane leader of the city state has nude women dance for him among hanging poles that have shocksticks in them.Very dated and odd flick- nothing special or worth seeking out- it was worth the $4.99 I paid for it on DVD.

Russian Roulette
George Segal is a cop on suspension who is recruited by special forces(Denholm Elliott) to capture and hold a rogue agent. Of course things get convulted and this leads to some decent(for the time) chases and fighting.Also look for Louise Fletcher as a switchboard operator and cop.But this flick is a very average action flick- twists,turns and tough talk followed up by the big chase sequence-typical 70s