Thursday, 28 June 2012

Olympic Survival

Do you like an overblown Bohemian Rhapsody style BIG SONG?

Welcome to England's best/worst Olympic effort.

It's a hilarious, dramatic, fascist-style marching song by Muse. It's complete with an operatic, dark monk chorus, a very high guitar solo (there's more than one actually), Matt Bellamy doing his best cod-Wagner, and some 1980s style synth drums from the Van Halen Jump era.

Depending on your sense of irony, you'll either think this might be the best thing about the Olympics, or perhaps a piece of terrible contemporary prog rock that needs to be put in the wastebin of joke songs quickly. I haven't quite decided where I stand. 

Apparently, this song will be played before the medal ceremony. I can't wait to see some awkward archers and fat weightlifters aproaching the podium, slightly taken aback by the melodramatic chorus provided as soundtrack. Inevitably, there will be a glorious moment when Bolt listens to the song, and gives us a lightning bolt. 

Here's the song. You must listen to it.

And as an added bonus, in tribute to the music of excess, here's another image of Van Halen in their finest hour.

Are you looking forward to the Olympics? Or are you like many cynical Brits and finding it all slightly ridiculous?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Prometheus Review

You gotta admire Ridley Scott. His work is full of chutzpah, philosophical ideas and is commandingly stylish. The last sentence sounds like a description I might read of Miuccia Prada or any other wannabe designer. Fortunately, Prometheus, lives up to Scott's reputation. Like a lot of supposedly conceptual fashion though, I would say it is more style than substance.

Prometheus asks the questions, what if we evolved from aliens, and what if, they were the more advanced life form? To write this makes the film sound completely ridiculous. It is science fiction, but it also has quite a sublime aesthetic. The aliens are visceral, slimy and dominating. I normally hate special effects, or at least the artificial look of CGI. But the aliens movement and appearance makes them creepy and captivating to watch.

Tensions abound between virtually all of the characters in the film. This is best personified by Charlize Theron's character, Meredith Vickers. She spends most of the film as an aggrieved daughter who is huffing her way through her father's desires (the father is played by the ancient looking Guy Pierce) to uncover the origins of life and alien existence. By the end of the film, I was really taken by her no-nonsense attitude. It's like she's irritated at other people's histrionics and just wants the sensible, simpler option. To do this though, she maintains a cold persona.

Meredith Vickers, looking unimpressed and steely as ever.

Michael Fassbender's performance is also notable. His perennially focused eyes are eerie and he convincingly plays the robotic character with a lack of humanity. His greater than human capabilities seem to have an underlying, twisted quality.

The lead character and Christian moral compass of the film, Dr Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace, is very much in the mould of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. Her strength and determination (and her rather gorgeous partner, Charlie Holloway, played by Tom Hardy)  fuel her desire to uncover why the aliens are infecting and attacking the crew.

I've never actually seen the original Alien, though I gather it is markedly similar, but I would say this is more than worth watching in the cinema. I saw the regular version, but I do think the inevitable aliens coming out at you, would be huge fun in 3D.

Verdict: 3/5 stars.

4/5 stars, for an imaginative escape.

Look at the amazing sci-fi B movie style poster for Prometheus below. A fan apparently created it. If I was more of a sci-fi fan, I'd want to buy it. As it is, I''m still coveting its glory.

What summer films are you excited for? I'm very impressed with the trailer for Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. Could it ever possibly be the grand American romance tragedy as the book?