Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wallace, Gromit Wu-Tang and the FCMM

Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were-Rabbit

If you don’t like Wallace and Gromit, you have no soul. Seriously, I don’t know how anyone with the slightest bit of good in them could not smile at the site of a cheese loving Englishman and his dog as they go through wacky hand-animated 3D adventures. I’m not saying that I’m a huge unabashed fan who seeks their stuff out, but if I come across it then I know I’m in for a good solid hour of uncompromised entertainment. Curse of the Were-Rabbit only continues this tradition of excellence on the big screen. I usually try to analyze WHY films are good on this blog, but in this case there’s really no need for detailed writings on plot, visual style or anything of the sort: it’s funny, it’s amusing, it’s even (gulp) sweet. It’s the kind of kid’s movie which has adults turning the clock back to when they were 6 rather than rolling their eyes cynically begging for it to stop. It’s a good family film. See it!

Think Differently Music: Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture

A compilation of various Wu-Tang affiliates collaborating with well known underground emcees, Think Differently Music have assembled a surprisingly dope compilation that’s not only high on quality but actually cohesive and listenable as an album rather than a bunch of songs. Pretty much all of the credit for the album’s success has to go to producer Bronze Nazareth who laces all but one track on here and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he can match the “soulful” aspect of Rza’s sound key for key. Relying on old Stax samples and classic drum patterns, the album’s beats never hit a snag with the ironic exception of Rza’s actual contribution on Biochemical equation. While there aren’t any huge standouts either, the whole thing rolls by rather quickly and fully works as a nice dose of the classic Wu sound that the original clan tried to unsuccessfully move away from. The Syl Johnson sampling Verses with Ras Kass and Scaramanga (that sample will NEVER get old) is one example with Listen and Think Differently being equally dope in that respect. The album’s true peak for me though? Jim fuckin Jarmusch’s guest spot narrating “infomercial” segments. Sure they have no real point other than letting Jim Jarmusch wax cool over a Wu beat, but really isn’t that enough in itself?

Not an essential album but a good one that you can spin without skipping around and in 2005 that’s ill enough in itself. Besides, it’s a Wu-Tang compilation that doesn’t suck: I didn’t think those existed anymore.

FCMM woes

Unfortunately the FCMM has not yet received the reels for Takeshi Kitano’s aptly named Takeshis and Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Three Times. Hell they even ran out of reels of interac paper for me to pay with. Seriously though, those were easily my most anticipated films at the festival save Vinterberg’s Dear Wendy and as much as I want to support this particular festival, if I can’t see them it just makes it harder for me. I’m still seeing Dear Wendy, I’m Ugly but Trendy and the Guy Madden and Tsukamoto shorts. But dammit I want my HHH and Beat Takeshi! Ah well, at least it seems to be doing healthier business than Simmard’s grotesque failure.

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