All posts filed under: Film


DVD REVIEW: “Amphetamine Reptile – The Color Of Noise”

A lengthy and, at times, wildly entertaining look at the (long time) Minneapolis-based label/arbiters of “noise core” or whatever you care to call it.  The Color Of Noise chronicles – at detailed length, which gives great insight into Amphetamine Reptile’s story – the foundation and rise to this label and its founder, ex-U.S. Marine, Tom Hazelmyer.  Done with a great deal of humor, the label, Hazelmyer and the history unfolds an important link to the mid-’80’s rise of “American Underground” and what was to follow throughout the early ’90’s. By establishing AmRep as an outlet for his own outfit, Halo Of Flies (which had been turned down by several labels), it opened the door to many other groups who would gain a great deal of traction:  The Melvins, Helmet, Helios Creed, The Cows and so on.  Aside from a musical forum, AmRep also helped shape its own sense of style with the graphics and designers employed to do the album covers and poster art, none more famous than Frank Kozik. Aside from the necessary factual …


DVD REVIEW: ADAM ANT, “The Blueblack Hussar”

What can one say about someone who was as entertaining and enjoyable as Adam Ant; when he and the (second version) Ants came upon these shores in 1980 with “Antmusic” and “Dog Eat Dog”, it was impossible not to get a kick out of those songs.  Their look was different; they had a certain charm, style and playfulness about them and they knew how to write a catchy hook.  While Ant’s moment in the sun faded by the late ’80’s, I always sing along whenever any of the Ants tracks (or “Friend Or Foe”) comes on the radio. Over the last five or so years, Adam Ant has found himself unfortunately in the British headlines at times, due to what has been found to be emotional problems (I’m trying my best to be diplomatic and sensitive to what the man has gone through).  Somehow, starting in 2012, he decided to try and stage a comeback in England.  During this comeback period, filmmaker Jack Bond began filming Mr. Ant as he prepared to do shows, rehearsed …

Film Review: “Bridge of Spies”

Steven Spielberg has made defining movies about the Civil War (Lincoln) and World War II (Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List) but the Cold War eludes his grasp in Bridge of Spies, his fourth film to star Tom Hanks. Structured around the construction of the Berlin Wall, Bridge of Spies ends, metaphorically and too easily, with its fall. Lacking the urgency of Munich (2005) and its forward-thinking topicality, the film is more of a museum piece, closer in effect to Amistad (1997). It is, to be sure, a very handsome exhibit. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski’s preferred blown-out style of lighting transforms actual locations and the fabrications by Adam Stockhausen (The Grand Budapest Hotel) into splendid period sets, a chess board for spy games that begin in 1957 Brooklyn. Spielberg’s command of


MOVIE REVIEW: “Northern Soul”

Northern Soul is a 2014 British film directed by Elaine Constantine.  Set in 1974, it’s about two Lancashire teens, Matt and John, whose lives become intertwined are changed forever by their mutual love of obscure American soul music and the dance scene (near cult) of the time, which became known as “Northern Soul” (since most of the the clubs that craved this music were in the north of England).  While the movie tends to use some predictable (not bad, just predictable) plot lines, the real star of this movie is the magnificent sounds heard within. Simple tale:  listless school boy Matt meets up with John, who is an avid Northern Soul fanatic.  Taking his cues from John, Matt begins to not only obsess over Northern Soul but immerses himself so deeply and embraces every element, that he formulates a plan to become a D.J. along with John.  Various ups and downs occur, but the focus on the music – the replicated style of dancing along with fashions – makes this thoroughly enjoyable. About the music …


DVD REVIEW: “He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown”

Another in Warner Home Video’s inspired Peanuts re-release series, this special, which originally aired in 2006, carries an important (albeit done gently) message – especially in the current climate.  In He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang learn the valuable lesson that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and those you care about when someone takes advantage of you.  It’s a very good and wise first step towards educating a child about the very real dangers of bullying.  This release is also tied in with National Bullying Awareness Month, which is October. The story follows most of the Peanuts gang to summer camp, where Rerun Van Pelt (Linus and Lucy’s little brother) meets an antagonistic boy named Joe Agate.  Rerun has become determined to learn how to play marbles after finding his grandfather’s prize collection and winds up losing them when Joe Agate pretends to teach Rerun but in reality, plays him and takes them in an unfair first match. Charlie Brown, who is history’s loveable loser, becomes angry …


MOVIE REVIEW: “The Jam – About The Young Idea”

Thrilled to see that the Showtime network has sought fit to broadcast the British documentary, The Jam – About The Young Idea, as it’s high time a sizable audience could see/hear/learn about the most important band to come out of the 1977 punk/new wave explosion and be barely known in the United States.  The Jam were a particularly British phenomenon and 33 years after their split, new audiences/new generations are finding out about them.  Which means that a whole new audience in the United States may pick up on this incredible band. I’m not going to waste time giving you their history, etc. – that’s what this very well-done documentary does and I think does it smartly and in an interesting manner.  It’s told in the band’s own words, uses archival footage of The Jam (including some songs that have not been previously heard) and speaks to various people – friends of and fans of the band, amongst them, noted actor Martin Freeman (Fargo, The Hobbit, etc.) and writer Paul Abbott (Shameless – both U.K. …


MOVIE REVIEW: “National Lampoon: Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead”

National Lampoon: Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead is the no-bullshit story of the most influential humor magazine to ever exist.  Co-founded by Douglas Kenney, Henry Beard and Douglas Hoffman, this magazine was irreverent, forward-thinking, risk-taking, ballsy and of its time – unafraid to make fun of the culture of the day, the government and anything else deemed to be transparent nonsense.  National Lampoon took chances on topics, spoofs on advertising and on talent, which is the most crucial element to their story.  From writers to designers to actors (who took some of the written material to the radio and the stage), National Lampoon magazine was a pool filled with talent – talents who, to this day, have become loved and revered icons.  Amongst the names that came from National Lampoon include Michael O’Donoghue, P.J. O’Rourke, Tony Hendra, John Hughes, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Joe Flaherty – the list is literally endless. The film, directed by Douglas Tirola, tells the story in a linear fashion, with tales of the magazine’s earliest days; its …


DVD REVIEW: Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection

The beauty of Peanuts exists on several levels:  the warmth of the characters; the sense of empathy one has for Charlie Brown; the sweetness and innocence of these children; the messages contained within both the comic strip and the T.V. specials that have appeared over the years.  Understand, I grew up with and loved everything about Peanuts – from the first moment I’d ever read one of the collections or saw A Charlie Brown Christmas as a child.  Now, even in my 50’s and not a father, I still find joy and pleasure in watching these programs and these beloved characters. And once again, Warner Home Video has offered up this dynamic collection, Peanuts:  Emmy Honored Collection, a 2-disc gathering of no less than 9 Emmy nominated/winning Peanuts specials from over the years.  Although these are cartoons, there are also some very powerfully poignant lessons to be learned, such as with “Why, Charlie Brown, Why?” in which Linus tries to learn how to cope with the serious illness of a friend of his; “Is This …


DVD REVIEW: “Salad Days: A Decade Of Punk In Washington, D.C. (1980 – 90)”

Having seen the film “Positive Force” last December, I see this as a natural companion piece to an important part of punk rock history.  Salad Days: A Decade Of Punk In Washington, D.C. (1980 – 90) tells the story of the birth and rise of the Washington D.C. punk scene and the words come straight from those who played crucial roles in its genesis:  not surprisingly, Ian MacKaye, Alec MacKaye, Henry Rollins and so on – this isn’t a story that you haven’t heard before.  But at least here, the recollections are coming from those who spear-headed the movement themselves. Built around a turbulent time in the Nation’s capital, D.C. punk came on the heels of bitter disappointments with the government, a spike in crime and drugs and a general malaise that settled over Washington at the dawn of the 1980’s.  Beginning with Bad Brains and rise of Minor Threat (formed from the ashes of Teen Idles), along with the formation of MacKaye and then-Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson’s Dischord Records label, D.C. punk forged …


Popdose Giveaway: Win TRANSPORTER REFUELED Swag and a $25 Fandango Gift Card!

We here at Popdose love to giveaway swag to our loyal readers. You’ve been with us a long time and it’s our little way of saying “thanks.” The good folks supporting THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED (opening September 4) are stoked about the movie and want to to make sure you all rush out and see it. In case you’re unfamiliar with the TRANSPORTER franchise, it comes from the mind of Luc Besson, the French filmmaker who’s given us such action packed classics like The Professional, The Fifth Element, the Taken series, and Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson. The first TRANSPORTER film was released in 2002 and it starred Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a former special-ops mercenary now working as a professional courier driver for hire. Statham went on to star in two sequels before stepping away. After that, there was a TRANSPORTER television series continuing the adventures of Frank Martin that aired on TNT in the States. Martin returns to the big screen with THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED with the character now portrayed by newcomer Ed Skrein. In the new film, Frank Martin is now living a less perilous life – or …