Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Hornet

Remember how I said I wouldn't watch the Green Hornet because it was a Seth Rogen film? Also, remember how Seth Rogen totally blew me away with his acting in Paul? Well, those two are very much related to today's post.
After watching what has to be the strangest form of cross promotion, a special episode of Mythbusters based on the Green Hornet film, I decided to track it down and give the flick a look. Once again I overlooked a film based purely on his involvement. Personally, I blame Knocked Up, so I've kind of been ignoring his rise. Anyway, Green Hornet. In case you're not familiar, Britt Reid is slacker son of a respected media magnate. Unfortunately, Daddy dies and Britt has to deal with responsibilities. While getting a little merry he proposes an idea to his mechanic, Kato, that the world needs justice. So the two become heroes with a twist, they'll pose as villains.
Going in, I was quite doubtful of their decision to do it as a comedy. But thanks to every directors favourite phrase being "dark and edgy", this change was quite welcome.
I never thought I would ever say this a million years, but I kind of wish I had seen this in 3D. It looks like it was used rather well in the fight scenes using "Kato vision", where time is slowed down and Kato sees each attacker's movements and locks onto weapons, which looked brilliant. On that note, how well did Mr. Rogen handle the action? He did a pretty good job of it, even slimmed down quite a bit. After all, the film was his idea. Plus he got a "Kato vision" scene of his own.
As for the humour, there was some good stuff, especially the villain, Chudnofsky, with Christoph Waltz having a lot of fun. There was even one gag that have been layered. Kato starts his life story mentioning he grew up in Shanghai, to which Britt replies "I love Japan". On the top layer, it just shows Britt as being an idiot, but going further, we have the fact that Kato was originally Japanese in the radio series, changed to Korean during WWII and best known through Bruce Lee's portrayal in the TV show. With that much foreknowledge needed, this one of the best fan nods I've come across.
Hopefully next time I won't prejudge Mr. Rogen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Six winds blow as one.

Having another shot at an album review. This time it's Van Canto's new album, Break The Silence. Not that they have been particularly silent, with only a year since their last one, along with a number of tours and appearances on other albums. I reckon they should have gone with the same title I did, "Six Winds Blow As One", because that would encapsulate the feel of the album.

For those not in the know, Van Canto are an a capella metal band from Germany, although they prefer the term hero metal a capella. And believe it or not, they're more than just a gimmick. Now, why do I reckon the six winds works better? Because, now they've really worked out their sound and created some great compositions. They even break tradition on a few tracks and introduce instruments. Well, they already do with one of the six being a drummer. But, two tracks feature extra instruments, an acoustic guitar in "Spelled In Water", and a piano in "Master Of The Wind", a Manowar cover.

That's something I should have mentioned, each album has a handful of covers. This one has four, including bonus tracks. In fact, it's one of these that gives the album its lowest point. A cover of Alice Cooper's "Bed Of Nails". In this case, its just that the original isn't one of Alice's best either, so it really does bring down the feel of the whole thing. Another cover I have a slight problem with is "Primo Victoria", originally by Sabaton. Mind you, they do get Sabaton's singer, Joakim Broden to appear. It is a damn fine cover, I'm just a little biased as I also really like the original. Mind you, this is the first time this has happened. But it is growing on me.

Some highlights include "Neuer Wind", their first song in their own language. I may not speak a word of German, well not enough for a coherent sentence, but I do like hearing it sung. I'd also praise the opening track "If I Die In Battle", which features the repeated lyric about those six winds. I could go on but basically, aside from "Bed Of Nails", this album is one hell of a good way to spend an hour. Just make sure to get the deluxe edition with the three bonus tracks. Mostly for the last one, "A Storm To Come".