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Child's Play (Full Screen)
Child's Play (Full Screen)
DVD ~ Catherine Hicks
Offered by VHS & Beta Rare Movies
Price: CDN$ 6.49
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.10

1.0 out of 5 stars A manifestation of rampant Hollywood cocaine abuse., June 6 2004
This review is from: Child's Play (Full Screen) (DVD)
There are certain things the average Joe should be horrified of: the gas prices, decent paying factory jobs being sent to third world nations, finding out your teenage daughter's prom date is R. Kelly, etc. But seeing a 2 foot doll with the combined annoyance capabiltities of Rob Schneider, Jennifer Lopez, David Spade, Hillary Clinton, Jar Jar Binks, and Ja Rule just doesn't work for me. It is just apalling how horror can denigrate from Poe, Lovecraft, and Hodgson to Chucky in less than a century. Of course no clean, sober mind could conceive such an idea. Only someone drunk on paint thinner chased with rubbing alcohol or stoned out his gourd could create such an intellectual vacuum as the Child's Play franchise. But it got created, and we, humanity as a whole are suffering for it.
This last paragraph is a true story. Back in April, I went to the 18 Cineplex to see Kill Bill Volume 2. But first I had to sit through the previews. One of the previews was for the new Chucky film in which evidently Chucky is going to have a child. It made me wonder why Bush doesn't do more to support family planning. But anywho, after that preview ended. I shouted with furious anger, "NO THANK YOU!!!". I expected to be ejected unceremoniously from the premises. Two ushers appeared out of nowhere and I was met with strange stares from the other theater patrons. So I stood up and awaited whatever fate was presented before me. But instead of recieving a boot to my hindquarters and a court order telling me never to return, I was met with cheers and whistles - even from the ushers. I politely bowed and sat back down, then I preceded to enjoy Kill Bill Volume 2.
Four words, Chucky: "Ribbed for her pleasure."

V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
by Alan Moore
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 3.41

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici., April 4 2004
This review is from: V for Vendetta (Paperback)
Written in the early 1980s, V for Vendetta tells of an England in the then near future of 1997-8. A limited nuclear exchange devastates much of the world while England is directly unaffected. However, the enormous economic and political ramifications of the conflict hurl the nation into anarchy. Out of the ashes arises the fascist Norsefire regime. Sure they restore order to the fallen country, but this is clearly a case of the serum being more lethal than the poison. This new government sends blacks, homosexuals, Jews, and other minorities to death camps. The culture of the pre-War world is now deemed as evil and subversive. A corrupt police force is implemented with the authority to murder suspects if they wish instead of adhering to ideals such as due process. The average citizen is forced to work for starvation wages, and sometimes to crime just to survive. Freedom, democracy, and privacy are as archaic concepts as the world being flat. Then comes V, whose motto is the title of my review. Translated from Latin it means: "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe."
Replete with Guy Falkes regalia, V seeks to bring about an end to the Norsefire party through a series of assassinations, bombings, and kidnappings. At first, they appear to be revenge against everyone who worked at the prison camp where V was held. Instead, the plot turns out to be more complicated and planned out than anyone could possibly imagine. V doesn't strike the Norsefire at their body, he strikes for their heart - and never misses. He has a contingency plan in the form of 16 year-old Evey Hammond, a girl he rescues from corrupt cops when she is forced into prostitution by her intolerably low wages. Of course, Evey doesn't agree with all of V's methods; but it is through him that she learns the very essence of freedom, and how she may be the true hope of England in its darkest hour.
VfV is not just a great graphic novel, it is required reading period. So what else can you expect from Alan Moore, who also brought us Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a lot of other things that raised the bar for the comic book medium. I especially love the repeated use of the letter "V" throughout the story. Beware, there is violence, objectionable language, and a little nudity. The violence is really nothing when compared to a title from Marvel's MAX line. The language is pretty much the same thing you'd hear from a PG-13 movie. And the nudity is not for the purpose of titilation, it represents the symbolic idea of freedom. Even with my warning, VfV merits nothing except extreme recommendation from me.

Control and Resistance
Control and Resistance
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 41.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 31.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Vive l'Anarchie, March 31 2004
This review is from: Control and Resistance (Audio CD)
There may never be another band like Austin's Watchtower. In the wasteland of hairband excess of the 1980s, Watchtower was an oasis of intelligence, talent, and imagination. Nowhere to be found were the idiotic lyrics about sex, cars, and getting drunk. The disingenious 3-chord riffs were MIA. In their place were thought-provoking social commentary and musicianship that was unheard of since the heyday of Yes. Here was a band who combined the heaviness and intensity of thrash metal with the musical sophistication of jazz fusion. Even though they wouldn't exactly dominate the charts, they would be a role model for other amazing bands like Dream Theater, Cynic, Death, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Spiral Architect.
Control and Resistance is Watchtower's second album, after the 1986 debut Energetic Disassembly. Their first vocalist Jason McMaster would leave to join the more commercially accessable Dangerous Toys, and Hades frontman Alan Tecchio would take McMaster's place. Guitarist Billy White would be replaced by ultrashredder Ron Jarzombeck. Jarzombeck's playing sounded like a mad-scientist trying to create his own idea of the perfect guitar player by kidnapping Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Mustaine, Carl Stalling, and Allan Holdsworth- then trying to fuse them all into one person. Doug Keyser was better suited for funk or fusion - Who needed him when you had bass maestros like Nikki Sixx who just strummed along with the australopithecine guitar chord progressions? Just joking - Keyser laid down a funky groove that made things far more interesting. Rick Colaluca ,in my opinion, was the Neil Peart of the speed metal generation. When so thrash metal drummers were saying, "Look at me, I can play 250 beats per minute.", Colaluca was exploring polyrhythms and odd time signatures that Lars Ulrich will never understand if he lives to be 150. Finally Tecchio sang with the melodicism of a NWOBHM vocalist and the manic energy of a punk singer, with a healthy dose of paranoia.
Lyrically, the songs may seem a little dated because they dealt with 1980s social concerns. "Instruments of Random Murder" is about the aspirin poisonings of the 1980s. "Mayday in Kiev" is about the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, and the unsuccessful and cowardly attempts by the then existing Soviet government to cover the incident up. "The Fall of Reason" is an anti-war song, a theme that was popular during the Reagan years.
Even if it didn't exactly set the world afire, Control and Resistance came out at a time when rock music was (and still is) in desperate need of a brain transplant. It lacked the support of eMpTyV, radio, and the major labels. But what it did have was some pretty good word of mouth. People, the few who heard it, who liked the album REALLY liked it. The good word of mouth is still circulating. When millions look back at the likes of Poison, New Kids on the Block, Hanson, Warrant, and Oasis; they hang their heads in embarrassment and say to themselves, "Oh Dear Lord, I used to listen to that." Then you have the thousands who listen to Watchtower and hold their heads high. Even more proof not to follow the hive mind.

Basic Instinct (Special Edition w/ Ice Pick Pen)
Basic Instinct (Special Edition w/ Ice Pick Pen)
DVD ~ Michael Douglas
Offered by stephensstuff
Price: CDN$ 29.95
15 used & new from CDN$ 5.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Basic in-STINK, March 30 2004
Imagine someone telling a dead baby joke as unappealing as the idea is. But also imagine this someone trying to spice up the joke by adding 5 syllable words, Shakespearean quotes, and French expressions like "coup de grace" or "piece de resistance". Now I ask you, is this erudite relating of a dead baby joke still a dead baby joke. Yes, it is. Using this frame of mind, let us apply it to any of those Cinemax Friday After Dark movies. You know, those movies with the low budgets and a whole slew of people with great bodies who can't act their out a wet paper bag. Let us now take one of these FAD films, budget it with tens of millions of dollars, and cast it with the famous Michael Douglas and the up-and-coming Sharon Stone. Did we make a better FAD film? No, but we sure did purdy it up like we did the dead baby joke.
Basic Instinct is a measley effort to make something that has no inherent class classy. It's like that old saying about how you can't polish a ... well you know. Douglas is here playing a "cop on the edge", a role he did way three years earlier in the underrated Black Rain (I love the Ray Charles karaoke scene myself, but back to the point). And you have Sharon Stone as a [appealing] writer whose books mirror the murders that are being committed. As you can already see, it won't be long before these two hook up and make the bedsprings sing in 4/4 time.
So let me ask you one more question, friends. What is Basic Instinct's claim of fame? Is it the Oscar-calibre performances of its stars? Is it the crisp sharp direction that echoes Kurosawa and Fellini? Is it the inventive high concept plot that makes A Clockwork Orange seem like Friday the 13th part 68 - Jason vs. Lumbago? No, incorrect, and el wrongiente. It's the interrogation scene where Stone forgot to bring her undergarments. It's a pretty sad commentary of society when such a scene is held in high regard. I almost forgot about Douglas' completely unprovoked mooning of the audience. Don't tell anyone, but the 3rd Infantry found thousands of copies of the latter scene in one of Saddam's WMD bunkers. What was he going to use it for?
This cinematic aberration was made by none other than Paul Verhoeven (who directed great films like Robocop and Starship Troopers {which I rather enjoyed thank you}) and the atrociously overpaid, overrated and under-useful Joe Eszterhas. The relationship between Verhoeven and Eszterhas fell apart after their infamous next collaboration Showgirls. Verhoeven may still have a few good films left in him, but someone needs to tell Eszterhas that his local Wal-mart needs more cart pushers.

Seamless
Seamless
Offered by bigmediadeals
Price: CDN$ 5.56
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution must kick in., March 28 2004
This review is from: Seamless (Audio CD)
Into Another, like Failure and Toadies, was one of those great 1990s alt-rock bands that fell by the wayside while quasi-grunge parodies like Bush and Silverchair sold millions. It comes as a shock that I have not heard of them until two months ago. Now, I'm hooked on this long defunct band. So what I'm guessing is that Hollywood records promoted them very quietly and then let them fade away even more quietly.
Into Another featured the subtle musicianship of guitarist Peter Moses, bassist Tony Bono (who used to be in the speed-metal band Whiplash), and drummer Drew Thomas. These three knew how to make 3-4 minute long pop-rock songs work. Don't worry, I mean pop-rock in a good way. But the real star here is lead singer Richie Birkenhead. The man could do it all: melodic screaming, melancholy droning, androgynous sighing, and just flat out good singing. Best of all, no cheap Eddie Vedder imitations in his repertoire.
Seemless, which was IA third and final album, hooks you in from the energetic bass intro of "Mutate Me" and does not let go. Not even after the last song has long stopped playing. There is nothing overtly technical or flashy with the album, but it is addictive. I do not drink alcohol, smoke, or do drugs (unless you count caffeine). Why would I need to when such intoxicating music is mine for the listening?
I have to include one final note before signing off. On the inside of the back cover is a picture of Birkenhead, Moses, and Thomas staring skyward at something unseen to those viewing the picture. Bono is lying on the ground as if dead. Birkenhead has a shovel in his right hand. This is an eerily prophetic picture because Bono would die in May 2002 of a heart attack. He was 38.

Swing It Best Of
Swing It Best Of
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 5.69
19 used & new from CDN$ 4.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You know something..., March 24 2004
This review is from: Swing It Best Of (Audio CD)
My sister knew a guy in high school who looked like the lead singer of Warrant. This guy would sit in the very back of the room and sniff glue all day long, since his only class aside from those required by the great state of Ohio was study hall. He would sometimes try to sing when he was on his glue highs. From what I people went to school with told me, he sounded like the lead singer of Warrant. And when school let out at 2:52, said Warrant singer lookalike would strut down the hall just like the real Warrant singer would on Warrant's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" video. Wait a minute,... IT CAN'T BE!!!

The Critic : The Entire Series
The Critic : The Entire Series
DVD ~ Jon Lovitz
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 38.81
16 used & new from CDN$ 17.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Grossly neglected., March 3 2004
The Critic is one brilliant animated TV show that suffered a fate that befell entirely too many other brilliant shows like Family Guy and The PJs. These shows would be hyped up weeks before the first episode aired. Then about 2-4 weeks into the series' first season (few of these shows lasted much longer than that), an entirely different series would air. And thus, the series would be left in limbo for weeks, sometimes months before another episode made its way to its small, and impatient group of fans. Because of this apathetic treatment from the networks, these shows were not given a sufficient opportunity to find an audience. The Critic, which debuted on ABC in 1994, languished in this manner until Fox would pick it up a year later. History would once again repeat itself on that network as well. It's just shameful how not one, but two, networks could take such a clever, inventive show for granted.
The Critic is about a very short pudgy New York City film critic and divorced father named Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz). Sherman hates blockbuster films with a burning passion. He makes his hatred known with two simple words: "IT STINKS!!!". This makes him one of the least popular people in the city. John Rocker may get the key to the city before Sherman does if that tells you anything. Sherman's life is full of some interesting and sometimes oddball characters. He comes from a rich family - his mother is a haughty aristocrat and his father is still recovering from a stroke, which is evident with his eccentric behavior. The only other normal person in Sherman's family is his loving, but slightly insecure teenage sister. Sherman's best friend is an Australian actor who is basically cross between Mel Gibson and Paul Hogan. The actor stars in precisely the same big budgeted films that Sherman likes to pan. And finally there's his boss, a Southern-bred media tycoon would love to cancel Sherman's hugely unpopular show for purely business reasons, but the tycoon for some reason likes having Sherman around.

What set The Critic apart from the other creative animated shows was how it would joke about cinema, much in the same way Family Guy would do to modern television, or how King of the Hill would do with rural stereotypes. One of the funniest skits (Lord knows The Critic had a lot of them), involved a trailer with Arnold Schwarzeneggar in a Jewish-themed action film. Arnold's new catch phrase was "Haga Navilla, Baby!!!". Pure hilarity.
For those of you who can't get enough of these amazing animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill; you owe it to yourself to watch The Critic. Once you've watched it, realize that it has been cancelled for nearly a decade, and see the sickening glut of reality shows that now reign over prime time with an oppresive fist - Don't be surprised to hear yourself saying this about the sickening state of 21st Century television: "IT STINKS!!!"

State Of Euphoria
State Of Euphoria
Price: CDN$ 8.94
33 used & new from CDN$ 4.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I drink three six-packs just so I can look at your face.", Feb. 12 2004
This review is from: State Of Euphoria (Audio CD)
Anthrax has always been a sentimental favorite of mine. They were the band that was instrumental in seeing me off on my first steps as metalhead. My musical tastes have broadened considerably in the sixteen years (has it been that long?) since I discovered Anthrax, but every now and then I have to return to where I began my journey. 1988's State of Euphoria brings back fond memories of my headbanging salad days. Even though SoE was not the group's best album, it is still mindblowing when put up against the excrementitious butt-rock like Poison and WASP that ruled the charts back in the day. How could it have been their best when they released the groundbreaking Among the Living the year before? Asking them to top AtL would be like asking your geography teacher to find a larger ocean than the Pacific.
A quick song review:
1. Be All, End All - A song that came out at a time when heavy metal was given was given a lot of bad press for driving teenagers to suicide and devil-worshipping. The lyrics are a condemnation of suicide, much like Ozzy Ozbourne's "Suicide Solution". But you were never going to hear something like that from Geraldo Rivera. It starts off with a somber and beautiful cello intro from Carol Freidman before switching into crushing, but upbeat metal.
2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind - An attack on phony bands and political correctness before most of us knew what political correctness was.
3. Make Me Laugh - A seriocomic blasting of televangelists like Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. Lyrically, it's hilarious. But it's also scary because there are still a lot of gullible people in 2004 who are throwing their life savings away to these charlatans.
4. Antisocial - A catchy remake of the song from the little known, and then disbanded, French band Trust. It was so well-received that Trust reformed and briefly toured with Anthrax.
5. Who Cares Wins - Here they offer their take on the homeless crisis. The musicianship on the first two minutes is striking to point of Megadeth level technicality.
6. Now It's Dark - A haunting track inspired by the 1986 film Blue Velvet. Granted, the lyrics are told from the perspective of Dennis Hopper's character; but the profanity is actually bland from overuse.
7. Schism - Starts off with an amazing drum solo courtesy of Charlie Benante. The lyrics dealt with a certain pet peeve of the band: racism.
8. Misery Loves Company - Inspired by the Stephen King novel Misery, and it's told from the crazy nurse's side of the story. The highlight of the whole album is Dan Spitz's dual soloing effect. This would be their last King song.
9. 13 - The worst thing Anthrax has ever done, and the reason SoE gets a 4-star rating. A bass guitar, chanting, what sounds like a xylophone, and breaking glass with laughing at the end. At least it's short.
10. Finale - A comical, barnstorming ode to marriage with great lyrics like:
"And then you wake, and chew off your own arm,
Or face the only graduate of Satan's School of Charm."
On a final note, Anthrax is the only band left in The Big Four still cranking out worthwhile material. Megadeth's future, if any, appears uncertain. Slayer is now just a shadow of their former selves. And Metallica, don't get me started on them. Yet Anthrax keeps soldiering on and keeping it real.
Overall rating: 4.5 stars.

Inner Mounting Flame
Inner Mounting Flame
Price: CDN$ 7.14
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.48

5.0 out of 5 stars As Bart simpson would say, "AYE CARAMBA!!!", Feb. 5 2004
This review is from: Inner Mounting Flame (Audio CD)
I wasn't even born during the Mahavishnu phenomenom that began in 1971, but I sure feel envious toward those that were around then. Those lucky souls were able to bear witness to the beginning of the jazz fusion movement. Nowadays, "fusion" is associated with overflamboyant musicianship and soulless, unemotional arrangements. Now the Mahavishnu Orchestra may have been flamboyant, but they were not without soul or emotion. You see, in order to play with the gut-wrenching intensity of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, energy is needed. And energy is derived from feeling. So that puts that argument to rest.
Their first album The Inner Mounting Flame is a perfect example of five virtuoso musicians throwing themselves with reckless abandon into their music. Guitarist and bandleader John Mclauglin's fretwork continues to sound jawdropping more than thirty years later. His wild and uninhibited playing contrasted vividly with his clean cut appearance. Keyboardist Jan Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman provided a classy ambiance to bassist Rich Laird's and drummer Billy Cobham's funky and complex rhythms. Also noteworthy is the band's cultural diversity: Mclaughlin is an Englishman with a love for Eastern philosophy and religion, Goodman is an American trained in European classical music, Hammer is Czech, Laird is Irish, and Cobham was born in Panama but became a U.S. citizen via the U.S. Army. How many albums have came out before or since with Indian, Celtic, jazz, classical, blues, rock, and country influences all wrapped together in one neat package?
As for the songs, you are better off hearing them than reading my musically illiterate descriptions. The opener "Meeting of the Spirits" is beautiful, and majestic and infectious. "Dawn" starts out slow and tranquil enough, but boy does it ever pick up. There's the warp speed insanity of "Awakening" and "The Noonward Race". "The Dance of Maya" has a ominous psychedelic beginning until a blues breakdown erupts 2 and 1/2 minutes into the song. "You Know You Know" is a ballad that at times threatens to explode into pandemonium. How many ballads do you know of that have their own stinkin' drum solo? The Celtic hued "A Lotus on Irish Streams" displays some subdued, but still very fine playing.
The Inner Mounting Flame shows what popular music was once capable of, and can be capable of again. But sadly, popular music is overran with glory hogs who feel they have compensate for their lack of talent and justifiably declining sales by humiliating themselves with ludicrous publicity stunts (i.e. 5 day marriages, stripping at the Super Bowl). So I say to you fellow music lover or to anyone reading this review, disconnect yourself from the talentless cavalcade of EmpTyV excrement and give real music a chance.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Widescreen) [Import]
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Sean Connery
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 8.94
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The League of Extraordinarily Sanitized Gentlemen., Jan. 16 2004
Are you one of those people who are sick and tired of "fanboys" who run down theatrical adaptations of comic books? Well, if you are, I'm going to have to burst your bubble yet again. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is another addition to the long line of comic book film flops that include Howard the Duck, Tank Girl, Judge Dredd, and Batman and Robin. The film deviates from the comic book in both form and spirit. I expected a little more input from Alan Moore, who gave us masterpieces like Watchmen and V for Vendetta.
Anyone who has read the comics version of The League of Extraordiary Gentlemen knows that it was not meant to be made as PG-13. If anything, it should be rated R or possibly NC-17. In the graphic novel/miniseries, The Invisible Man is an amoral rapist and serial killer without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. He not only stole a police constable's uniform, he literally beat his brains out too. In the film, (if you can overlook the fact that he's a thief and the fact that the studio was unable to procure the rights to the real Invisible Man) he's an all-right person. Secondly, there's Tom Sawyer, who totally defeats the whole concept of The League. Sawyer is a completely heroic character with no moral ambiguities to speak of. Going back to the comic books, TLoEG is not about heroic literary characters who stand for what is right and true. It is about a group of characters who sometimes use means that are just as unsavory as the villains to achieve their common goal. A milquetoast like Sawyer wouldn't last 5 minutes in the real League. My final complaint with the characters is Mina Harker. In the comic form, she is a conservatively attired frumpy intellectual lady who does NOT use any vampiric powers. In the film, she is a voluptuous martial artist bloodsucker who wears low-cut and tight dresses. She also has an uncanny ability to roam about freely during the daytime. Can you figure out which is the more marketable? Maybe the producers and the studio were trying to get merchandising deals (toys, videogames, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.) aimed toward the Harry Potter set. Moore should be ashamed of himself for letting them do this to the League.
Another flaw is the pathetic action sequences filled with more than a few gaps of logic. The fight scenes are so congested it's impossible to tell what's going on. At least an action scene in a Jerry Bruckheimer prodution is filmed with a semblance of clarity. I guess the trick is to wait until the fight,or the mess of limbs flailing around that is passed off as a fight, is over to determine the outcome. There is also the infamous scene that takes place in Venice. Here we are supposed to believe that Tom Sawyer can drive a car without any lessons. Even worse than that is how Nemo's Nautilus can easily negotiate the canals. And if I may go one step further, how did Mina Harker manage to summon what appear to be millions of bats from out of nowhere? And phony looking CGI bats to boot.
Like I said earlier, there are entirely too many deviations from the comic book and scenes lacking plausibilty to make this a worthy adaptation. They should have known from the get-go that this had TURKEY written all over it with letters the size of Pluto's orbit. All I can say to Moore is that unless he can get Peter Jackson to direct is to not let this happen to Watchmen if anyone gets a wild urge to make a film out of that brilliant work of art.

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