1/31/2012

The Life And Times 'No One Loves You Like I Do' (2012) ****

Seriously, the best album of this ilk since Failure's 'Fantastic Planet' (and I equally dislike the cover art for both albums).

Not sure why they chose for the track order to list the "days" out of order or why "Day Four" and "Seven" are missing (B-sides, maybe?).
I created a playlist on my iPod and listed to the tracks in "day" order and I actually almost like the way the tracks flow better that way, except 2 of the tracks get cut off in weird ways.
Fans of Failure, Shiner, Channels, Burning Airlines, Jawbox and Hum will not be disappointed.

Tokyo Drifter (1966) ****

STYLE.



1/30/2012

Movie Matters Podcast: Movie Matters #14 - Top 10 of 2011

Just wanted to plug Michael Mackenzie & Lee Howard's Movie Matters Podcast.
I was previously a guest on their Brian De Palma Special episode.
They were kind enough to include my MP3 submission of my Top 10 Films Of 2011 in this current epsiode.
I hope you'll take a listen (click the title of this entry).

Harvie Krumpet (2003) ****

This short film is included on the Mary And Max Blu-ray.
It's great.

Toy Story (1995) ***

Finally watched this.
I'm not really into CG animated films; I'm just not.
Love the writing, the voice acting and some of the animation/character design is great, but I still can't get into the look - too pristine, too clean.

1/26/2012

Mary And Max (2009) ****1/2

Re-watched this.
So beautifully done in every regard (animation, music, voice-over).
Really hits every emotion.
A truly wonderful film.


1/20/2012

Haywire (2011) ***1/2

Funny. The last 2 movies that I watched in a row were Soderbergh films.
Another great film from him, written by Lem Dobbs, writer of the superb and underrated The Limey, which Haywire feels similar to at times.
David Holmes, one of Soderbergh's 2 go-to musicmen, delivers another impressive score.

1/07/2012

Danman's Top 10 Films Of 2011


  1. Drive *****
  2. The Tree Of Life ****
  3. Hanna ****
  4. Contagion ****
  5. Hobo With A Shotgun ****
  6. X-Men: First Class ****
  7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ***1/2
  8. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes ***1/2
  9. A Dangerous Method ***1/2
  10. The Muppets ***1/2
Honorable Mentions:

1. Source Code ***1/2
2. I Saw The Devil ***1/2
3. Insidious ***

Biggest Disappointment:

Worst Film:


*The reason that some selections have higher star ratings, but lower positions has to do with replay value, entertainment value, credibility/deliverance within genre, etc.

I thought it would be fun to include all my previous Top Films since I started keeping track of them, when I used to work for Newbury Comics. Looking back at these, there are a bunch of titles that I would definitely shift to higher or lower positions, switch from Honorable Mentions to Top 10 and vice versa, but I decided to leave them untouched, for posterity's sake. The majority of them were spot on though, and I continue to love these films.

2005

  1. Munich
  2. A History Of Violence
  3. The Squid And The Whale
  4. Batman Begins
  5. Sin City
  6. High Tension (Haute Tension)
  7. The Devil’s Rejects
  8. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
  9. Land Of The Dead
  10. Man With The Screaming Brain
2006

  1. The Prestige
  2. The New World
  3. The Proposition
  4. The Good Shepherd
  5. The Black Dahlia
  6. The Departed
  7. An Inconvenient Truth
  8. Casino Royale
  9. Rocky Balboa
  10. Borat!
Honorable mentions:

1. Superman Returns
2. The Fountain

2007

  1. No Country For Old Men
  2. Zodiac
  3. Hot Fuzz
  4. Pan’s Labyrinth
  5. Eastern Promises
  6. 3:10 To Yuma
  7. The Mist
  8. American Gangster
  9. Hatchet
  10. Grindhouse
2008

  1. There Will Be Blood
  2. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
  3. The Dark Knight
  4. Let The Right One In
  5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
  6. Appaloosa
  7. Valkyrie
  8. Redbelt
  9. Tropic Thunder
  10. Burn After Reading
Honorable Mentions:
 
  1. Rambo
  2. Doomsday
2009
  1. The Road
  2. The Wrestler
  3. Coraline
  4. A Serious Man
  5. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  6. Che
  7. Inglourious Basterds
  8. Bronson
  9. Moon
  10. The Informant!
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Brüno
  2. Zombieland
  3. Gran Torino
  4. Black Dynamite
  5. Drag Me To Hell
  6. The House Of The Devil
2010

  1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World ****1/2
  2. The Social Network ****1/2
  3. Shutter Island ****
  4. Inception ***1/2
  5. Black Swan ***1/2
  6. True Grit ***
  7. Frozen ***
  8. Iron Man 2 ***1/2
  9. Machete ***1/2
  10. Piranha 3D ***
Honorable Mention:

  1. Predators

Danman's Top 20 Albums Of 2011


  1. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead ‘Tao Of The Dead’ ****1/2
  2. Death Cab For Cutie ‘Codes And Keys’ ****
  3. Thao & Mirah ‘Thao & Mirah’ ****1/2
  4. Boots Electric ‘Honkey Kong’ ****
  5. St. Vincent ‘Strange Mercy’ ****
  6. The Black Keys ‘El Camino’ ****
  7. Peter Gabriel ‘New Blood’ ****1/2
  8. My Morning Jacket ‘Circuital’ ***1/2
  9. Tom Waits ‘Bad As Me’ ***1/2
  10. The Cars ‘Move Like This’ ***1/2
  11. Charles Bradley ‘No Time For Dreaming’ ****
  12. Foo Fighters ‘Wasting Light’ ***1/2
  13. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ (Soundtrack) ****
  14. Primus ‘Green Naugahyde’ ***1/2
  15. The Chemical Brothers ‘Hanna’ (Soundtrack) ****
  16. Trap Them ‘Darker Handcraft’ ****
  17. The Go! Team ‘Rolling Blackouts’ ***1/2
  18. Fujiya & Miyagi ‘Ventriloquizzing’ ***1/2
  19. Cliff Martinez ‘Drive’ (Soundtrack) ***1/2
  20. DJ Shadow ‘The Less You Know, The Better’ ***1/2
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi ‘Rome’ ***1/2
  2. Edie Sedgwick ‘Love Gets Lovelier Every Day’ ***1/2
  3. Radiohead ‘The King Of Limbs’ ***1/2
  4. The Lonely Island ‘Turtleneck & Chain’ ***1/2
  5. Cliff Martinez ‘Contagion’ (Soundtrack) ***1/2
  6. Cake ‘Showroom Of Compassion’ ***
  7. Beastie Boys ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’ ***
  8. Iron & Wine ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ ***
  9. John Vanderslice w/ The Magik*Magik Orchestra ‘White Wilderness’ ***
  10. Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter ‘Marble Son’ ***
*The reason that some selections have higher star ratings, but lower positions has to do with replay value.

Who says that there is no good music anymore...?

I thought it would be fun to include all my previous Top Albums since I started keeping track of them, when I used to work for Newbury Comics. Looking back at these, there are a bunch of titles that I would definitely shift to higher or lower positions, switch from Honorable Mentions to Top 10 and vice versa, but I decided to leave them untouched, for posterity's sake. The majority of them were spot on though, and I continue to love these albums.

2001 (Holy good year for albums!)

  1. Spoon – Girls Can Tell
  2. Shiner – The Egg
  3. Juno – A Future Lived In Past Tense
  4. Fugazi – The Argument
  5. Death Cab For Cutie – The Photo Album
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Sunshine – Necromance
  2. Cake – Comfort Eagle
  3. The (International) Noise Conspiracy – A New Morning, Changing Weather
  4. Scissorfight – Mantrapping For Sport And Profit
  5. Gorillaz - Gorillaz
  6. Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet
  7. Aphex Twin – Drukqs
  8. The Faint – Danse Macabre
  9. The Strokes – Is This It
  10. Tenacious D – Tenacious D
2002

  1. Mirah – Advisory Committee
  2. Spoon – Kill The Moonlight
  3. The Casket Lottery – Survival Is For Cowards
  4. Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf
  5. Foo Fighters – One By One
Honorable Mentions:

  1. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
  2. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
  3. DJ Shadow – The Private Press
  4. Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi
  5. Enon – High Society
  6. Tom Waits – Alice
  7. Tom Waits – Blood Money
  8. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – The Last DJ
2003

  1. Starlight Mints – Built On Squares
  2. My Morning Jacket – It Still Moves
  3. Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts
  4. Kings Of Leon – Youth And Young Manhood
  5. Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism
  6. Nada Surf – Let Go
  7. The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
  8. The Thermals – More Parts Per Million
  9. Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
  10. Coachwhips – Get Yet Body Next Ta Mine
Honorable Mentions:

  1. The Fiery Furnaces – Gallowbird’s Bark
  2. Aphex Twin – 26 Mixes For Cash
  3. Pearl Jam – Lost Dogs
  4. Cursive – The Ugly Organ
  5. Guitar Wolf – UFO Romantics
  6. The Twilight Singers – Blackberry Belle
2004

  1. John Vanderslice – Cellar Door
  2. The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives
  3. The Thermals – Fuckin A
  4. Poster Children – No More Songs About Sleep And Fire
  5. The Helio Sequence – Love And Distance
  6. Interpol – Antics
  7. Blonde Redhead – Misery Is A Butterfly
  8. Mirah – C’mon Miracle
  9. Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender
  10. Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter – Oh, My Girl
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Coachwhips – Bangers Vs Fuckers
  2. Cake – Pressure Chief
  3. Turing Machine – Zwei
  4. Secret Machines – Now Here Is Nowhere
  5. The Faint – Wet From Birth
  6. Viva Voce – The Heat Can Melt Your Brain
  7. Pinback – Summer In Abaddon
  8. Iron And Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days
2005

  1. Kings Of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
  2. Queens Of The Stone Age – Lullabies To Paralyze
  3. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Worlds Apart
  4. Spoon – Gimme Fiction
  5. My Morning Jacket - Z
  6. The Life And Times – Suburban Hymns
  7. John Vanderslice – Pixel Revolt
  8. Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
  9. Supergrass – Road To Rouen
  10. Nada Surf – The Weight Is A Gift
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Beck – Guero
  2. Foo Fighters – In Your Honor
  3. M.I.A. – Arular
  4. Edie Sedgwick – Her Love Is Real…But She Is Not
  5. Boards Of Canada – The Campfire Headphase
  6. Gorillaz – Demon Days
  7. Coachwhips – Peanut Butter & Jelly Live At The Ginger Minge
  8. Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
2006

  1. Eagles Of Death Metal – Death By Sexy…
  2. Beck – The Information
  3. Starlight Mints – Drowaton
  4. Radio 4 – Enemies Like This
  5. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – So Divided
  6. Channels – Waiting For The Next End Of The World
  7. Scissorfight – Jaggernaut
  8. The Sword – Age Of Winters
  9. Snowden – Anti-Anti
  10. Placebo – Meds
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
  2. Zombi – Surface To Air
  3. Goldfrapp – Supernature
  4. Wolfmother – Wolfmother
  5. The Album Leaf – Into The Blue Again
  6. The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
2007

  1. Queens Of The Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
  2. The Hives – The Black And White Album
  3. St. Vincent – Marry Me
  4. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
  6. Band Of Horses – Cease To Begin
  7. Trans Am – Sex Change
  8. Enon – Grey Geysers…Carbon Clouds
  9. John Vanderslice – Emerald City
  10. Rilo Kiley – Under The Blacklight
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Radiohead – In Rainbows
  2. Blonde Redhead – 23
  3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81
  4. Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times
  5. Dizzee Rascal – Maths + English
  6. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
  7. Rogue Wave – Asleep At Heaven’s Gate
  8. Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  9. Dungen – Tio Bitar
  10. Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond
2008

  1. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
  2. Eagles Of Death Metal – Heart On
  3. Beck – Modern Guilt
  4. Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree
  5. Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
  6. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV
  7. Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs
  8. Edie Sedgwick – Things Are Getting Sinister And Sinisterer
  9. The Faint – Fasciination
  10. The Sword – Gods Of The Earth 
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Cat Power – Jukebox
  2. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend 
2009

  1. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names
  2. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Century Of Self
  3. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
  4. St. Vincent – Actor
  5. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
  6. Mirah – (a)spera
  7. Starlight Mints – Change Remains
  8. Zombi – Spirit Animal
  9. Flight Of The Conchords – I Told You I Was Freaky
  10. Erin McKeown – Hundreds Of Lions 
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Metric – Fantasies
  2. Placebo – Battle For The Sun
  3. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic 
 2010

  1. Spoon – Transference
  2. Massive Attack – Heligoland
  3. Goldfrapp – Head First
  4. The Black Keys – Brothers
  5. The Sword – Warp Riders
  6. Maserati – Pyramid Of The Sun
  7. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
  8. The Chemical Brothers – Further
  9. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Social Network (Soundtrack)
  10. Nigel Godrich – Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Score)
Honorable Mentions:

  1. Six Finger Satellite – A Good Year For Hardness
  2. Clint Mansell – Black Swan (Soundtrack)
  3. Trans Am – Thing
  4. UNKLE – Where Did The Night Fall
  5. Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back
  6. Electric Six – Zodiac
  7. Vampire Weekend – Contra
  8. Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle
  9. Eels – Tomorrow Morning
  10. Eels – End Times

Happy Birthday, Blog!

My blog is 1 year old today!

I posted about my yearly film watching ratios on Valentine's Day of last year (that's not sad, right...?).
I'm reposting that info here to include 2011:

2005 - 339 (that's a lot of films!)
2006 - 369 (wow, more films than days in the year!!)
2007 - 274 (quite the jump down!)
2008 - 270 (very similar to 2007)
2009 - 234 (steadily declining)
2010 - 188 (whoa, BIG drop)
2011 - 236 (back up from 2010 and on par with 2009)

Here's hoping for some great 2012 films (and music), with such anticipated titles as Ridley Scott's Xenomorph-less Alien prequel Prometheus, Tarantino's  Django Unchained, Sam Mendes' Bond film Skyfall (007), Tim Burton's full-length stop-motion remake of Frankenweenie, The Dark Knight Rises and Soderbergh's Haywire!

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest - Extended Edition (2009) ***1/2


1/02/2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Extended Edition (2009) ***1/2

The Extended Edition of the 2nd Millennium film earns an extra 1/2 * from my previous rating; this fleshed-out version is more compelling.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Extended Edition (2009) ****

The Extended Edition fills in some nice bits from the book that were cut out from the theatrical version.
I can't say that I feel that it's vastly superior to the shorter version (I enjoyed them both), but I'm glad to own the longer version.

After rewatching this, I DO think that I prefer it over the Finch version, but there are parts of both films (characters, dialogue, events) that I like and dislike or feel that were handled better in one version over the other. I think, if anything, it'll be fun to have both versions to rewatch, once the 2011 version gets released on Blu-ray.