1/28/2016

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) - Director's Cut (1975) ****

I prefer the shorter version. This version is overlong and drags. I don't feel that the scenes that were dropped for the 105 minute version add any true substance to the film.

1/20/2016

David Bowie Albums Ranked

My Focus On Film co-host Ryan challenged me to rate the Bowie albums that I own. Note that I am missing 'David Bowie', 'Never Let Me Down', 'Black Tie White Noise' and the Tin Machine albums (though I'm not sure I would have included them anyway) so they are not included. I just never got around to collecting or listening to them. I probably will eventually. Honestly, some of these albums really tie for places and this list is one that could change if you asked me to rate them again in a year.

1. 'Scary Monsters' *****
2. 'Low' *****
3. 'Young Americans' *****
4. 'The Next Day' *****
5. 'Aladdin Sane' ****1/2
6  'Diamond Dogs' ****1/2
7. 'Let's Dance' ****1/2
8. 'Heathen' ****1/2
9. 'Blackstar' ****1/2
10. 'Lodger' ****
11. 'Ziggy Stardust' ****
12. "Heroes" ****
13. 'Hunky Dory' ****
14. 'Station To Station' ****
15. 'Reality' ****
16. 'The Buddha Of Suburbia' ****
17. 'The Man Who Sold The World' ***1/2
18. 'Earthling' ***1/2
19. 'Space Oddity' ***1/2
21. 'Pin Ups' ***1/2
22. 'Hours...' ***
23. 'Tonight' ***

The Ice Pirates (1984) ***1/2

1/18/2016

David Bowie 'Blackstar' (2016) ****1/2

I've given 'Blackstar' a number of listens now. I wanted to wait a week after Bowie's passing before settling on my star rating. Regardless of his passing and the album subsequently reaching #1 in the US (a first for Bowie), this album is incredibly strong and deserving of the praise it's receiving. I'm seeing a lot of reviewers call this album "jazzy". While there are some jazzy elements (re: saxophone), that's not really how I would classify it overall. It has plenty of dance/electronic and rock elements as well. It reminds me most of a combination of sounds that Bowie previously explored on 'Earthling', 'Outside', 'The Buddha Of Suburbia' and 'The Next Day'. The self-titled opener is a standout, as are the freaky "Girl Loves Me" and the closer "I Can't Give Everything Away", which still all but brings me to tears a week after DB's death. It's a weirdly unique/experimental album but simultaneously accessible. 'Blackstar' is a beautiful parting gift, bittersweet yet so perfectly Bowie.