26 May 2013

The Great Trek into Kvelertak

Star Trek Into Darkness

The first one was a lot of fun, and so is this one. The main problem with the 2009 film was the rather unimpressive antagonist; this time around, they got Benedict Expletive Cumberbatch to work his baritone magic, and even with the almost incoherently silly and convenient script, he managed to play a wonderfully menacing and yet almost empathic bad guy and made the film at least twice as enjoyable as it could have been without him. The rest of the cast did their jobs well enough. There's enough action to fill all of the old Star Trek movies put together, and a different kind of humor that often falls into the referential category. It's this referential thing that's getting a lot of people (mostly die-hard Trek fans) really upset. As this is a "reboot" of sorts, there are going to be many parallels, and that is taken to a bit of an extreme here. It's done a little bit sloppily but I got a ton of enjoyment out of it. Good stuff. Robocop.

The Great Gatsby

 I'd been hearing bad things about this from the first time I heard about it. There have been at least four other Gatsby film adaptations in the past, and I don't think any of them have garnered much acclaim; it's just too much of a masterwork (or so I'm told) to really be "filmable," as people tend to say about things they like a lot. Obviously I haven't read the book so that defensive attachment wasn't an issue for me going into the theater, and I think it helped my experience a lot. It's a beautifully visual film with some pretty great acting, a lot of gorgeous women, and of course the story itself is quite interesting even if it is a bit of a "chick-flick" sort of thing. I'm not a huge fan of voice-over but it worked well enough. Perhaps it has failed though in that I don't really feel like I have to go read the book. Different strokes, Old Sport.


Check another one off the list of must-see-live bands. I bought this ticket months ago, as soon as the tour was announced. They have come to the U.S. before, but never so close to me, so there was really no choice this time. Their self-titled album from a few years ago topped my list without much even competition (aside from Shining and Ghost). Meir hasn't had nearly the same effect but it's still an excellently feel-good metal album and didn't lessen my love for the band. I spent the majority of their set in the first and second rows, and suffered the requisite beatings from the mosh pit behind me; it was worth it. The frontman went crowd-surfing several times, and at one point one of them starting hanging from the rafters above the crowd. At the end the first few rows were all invited up onto the stage join in with the band in their revelrous finale. Kick-ass.

The openers were pretty good too. The first band, Black Clouds, was an instrumental three-piece playing rather djenty metal similar to TesseracT but with an extremely distorted bass, and a seizure inducing light show. It was fine but I get bored rather quickly without vocals. Next up, Black Tusk performed as the only opener I'd actually heard before, but were unfortunately fairly boring as well. I'm not sure really what made them boring for me. They're really quite similar in sound to the rest of the bill, but there's just something missing. I think the next band, Cancer Bats, managed to find that element that really gets my interest. Could be the rocking guitar riffs or the vocalist's energetic performance (plus pizza shirt), but whatever it was got me to buy their album Dead Set on Living. It's pretty great; a disc full of rip-roaring bluesy metal followed by another disc of Black Sabbath covers, almost exclusively pulled from their first few albums. They've got a new fan for sure.

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