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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Uncut Magazine Take 53 October 2001

Uncut Take 53 October 2001
This was the first Uncut Magazine I brought back then and I collected them until 2009. I have recently started buying them again. Uncut is an excellent read dedicated to music and movies and back in those days also books. Nowadays the book section is pretty much gone and the movies section is a shadow of its former self but the music section is mainly what I brought it for anyway.

I am revisiting all my original back issues of Uncut and will be picking out all the albums highlighted in each issue that I have on CD or in digital format for review and if digital to decide to keep and buy or discard and make room on my nearly full hard drive. I will also be checking out some of the movies that they reviewed.
 I am intending to use these back issues as a guide to exploring my music collection hopefully in a bit more detail than I have been in the past as the size of my collection is getting too big and too many to spend time with. Anyhow lets kick off with what I'm listening too in relation to this issue.

So starting with the "Free" CD that came with the magazine, and the start of a big collection of great music I wouldn't have come across otherwise. The first surprise was the opening track by an old New Zealand band, The Clean, whom I didn't know were still putting out music and even better were still putting out quite good music. Some other highlights are Gemma Hayes and Lincon, introducing me to Uncuts take on Americana and the Human league track is pretty dam good, I was into them way back when they put out the "Dare" Album. T-Rex is always good  The rest is is interesting and enjoyable with nothing that I took a dislike to. Have a listen to this set over at Uncut Jukebox.

Stereolab - Sound Dust (UK 2001)

This album was reviewed in the reviews section and was given a four star review and hailed as a return to form. I really enjoyed their "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" album but am pretty disappointed with this one. Some interesting little bits and quirky sounds but overall I just couldn't get inspired much by this at all. Pretty standard droney sort of electronic pop that gets a bit annoying in places and a bit tedious too. I haven't given it to much attention and really don't feel inspired to give it any more. Rating 2/5 and will delete from my hard drive.

Proof Of Life - Taylor Hackford Director (USA 2000)
This film was brought to my attention by a full size advert on the inside cover of the magazine and after reading the review on All Rovie, decided to give it a go. Hired a copy from the video shop and watched this last night and although I was an OK movie and did keep me interested right through, I agree with the three star rating it had on  Rovie. An action drama, leaning more to the drama side but Russell Crow gets to play Rambo at the end of the film. Meg Ryan also helped keep me glued to the screen, being one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. Watch\able but not one I would want to see again and gets a Roddus Rating of 2.5/5

Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen...We Are floating In Space (UK 1997)

It was interesting to read some of an article on this guy, due to the release of the "Let it Come Down" Album, which was referred to as his latest masterpiece in the articles heading but was roundly trashed in the review later on in the magazine. This particular earlier album had been raved about for some time from various sources and so I needed to check it out.
Another highly rated album that I just can't connect with. I guess the probable "Shoegazing" tag sits well with this laborious release and apart from some more rocker moments like on "Electricity", I am bored and unmoved by this. Plenty of atmosphere and string arrangements mixed in with the electronics to make quite a dense noise in places. A well constructed set and if you are moved by this sort of thing, then I guess I can see some merit in it, but as I said I am not connecting with this at all and will rate it 2/5.
Enigma - Michael Apted Director (UK 2001)
This movie was mentioned in the movie news section near the start of the issue and reviewed with three stars in the movie review section. Hired from the re-opened and ever reliable Alice in Videoland, I enjoyed this sometimes overcomplicated WWII spy/murder thriller and it kept me interested throughout. Nothing outstanding here but a good and entertaining Brit flick loosely based on real events in the code breakers of WWII and the convoy battle and being based on a novel by Robert Harris. My Rating 3/5.

Dirty Harry - Don Siegel Director (USA 1971)
This legendary movie was highlighted by an extended article due to the fact that it had been reissued on DVD and I happen to have a copy in my collection. A controversial movie to this day and a taste of what was to come out of Hollywood during the 70s. The negatives  of this movie are some corny parts, the unbelievably bad police work in relation to the catching the bad guy and of course the cold bloodedness of the violence. But this is still a very entertaining piece of classic cinema, Eastwood at his most iconic since the Leone westerns and I just really enjoy Cop dramas, with this one being one of the best. Great escapism, just don't take it too seriously. Rating 4/5.

Ryan Adams - Gold (USA 2001)
So this first issue I buy of Uncut is also my first exposure to Ryan Adams and this issue contains a 5 star review of this album as well as being album of the month. Because this appeared to be a quality magazine and the review for this was so enthusiastic, I decided to go and buy this CD. Ryan has been a favourite ever since. A classic country tinged rocker with a plethora of top notch tunes maintaining a high quality throughout its 70 minutes and giving us classic songs like "New York, New York", "Firecracker", "Rescue Blues"(My Favourite) and "No Body Girl". This is a very mature work for someone under 30 at the time and that is reflected in the fact this is more than just a rock out album but has plenty of  well crafted quieter songs. Very AOR to me but in a very good way. One of my Albums of the month from this issue as well and gets a Roddus rating of 4.5/5
AI(Artificial Intelligence) - Steven Spielburg Director (USA 2001)
I love a bit of Si-Fi and some of my favorite movies fit this description. This one was reviewed in this issue and received a 4 star rating. This movie has some stunning set pieces and Osment is very spooky playing the android who wants to be human. Quite haunting in places and I found it a bit unsettling of the portrayal of our near future and the moral implications of what they were doing with the mechanoids. Plenty of unexpected turns in this film and quite riveting and enjoyable.
Rating 4/5.

Alison Krauss & Union Station - New Favourite (USA 2001)

I had been meaning to check out Alison Krauss for some time and this album was reviewed in this issue and got three stars. It is a good album with an excellent sound and Alison has a fabulous voice. The album is a mix of serious bluegrass tracks with some great pickin' on the Banjo with Fiddle in support and I really enjoy those songs, but the set is mixed in with some more mellow and poppier songs with acoustic guitar and Alison singing and it is these tracks that really don't inspire me all that much. "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn" is the first serious piece of bluegrass and is very well sung by one of the guys from Union station and the pickin' is wonderful. "Choctaw Hayride" is an instrumental and again more strongly Bluegrassy. "Crazy Faith" is more a more poppy bluegrass sung by Alison and I prefer it to the other acoustic pop tracks she sings.
"Momma Cried" has the male vocal again, a real southern drawl, which I really like in this type of hoedown  music."Daylight" is Alison's best vocal and still has a strong Bluegrass feel, whereas Some of the mellower tracks I find her singing just a bit to saccharine."Take Me For Longing" is another good Alison vocal over some good banjo and makes me wonder how she and the male singer would go singing duet on some of this music." Overall a better album than I first gave it credit for although the mellower poppier songs spoil it a bit for me and so I too will give it 3/5.
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo habitual (USA 1990)
Perry Farrell had just put out a new solo album and was featured in an article/interview in this issue prompting me to have a listen to this third and most well known album by Farrell's Jane's Addiction. I did have this LP on vinyl when it was released, although It didn't get as much attention from me as it could have, so listening to it now isn't quite the trip down memory lane as it could have been. I feel this funky, pre-grunge alt-rock hasn't aged as well as I thought it might. A sort of a cross between early Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Pixies with plenty of great guitar playing, especially on the opening track "Stop". After the first 20 minutes of sonic warfare, things get a little proggy with some more long winded projects that take a bit more attention to appreciate. Overall, still a reasonably enjoyable set and I will rate it 3.5/5.
The Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady (UK 1979)
Another one reviewed due to a reissue and another one I use to have on vinyl. Uncut gave this five stars and I must concur. Brilliant pop-punk, power-pop, whatever you want to call it, every track is a classic and essential and a huge influence on music since its day. I actually have "Owners Manuel" on CD which has most of the original tracks from this compilation and several more as well. Being a singles band, this set covers pretty much most of their best stuff from this period, although "Another Music in A Different kitchen" is my favourite early Buzzcocks album.
The truly awesome "Why Can't I Touch It" is just sublime. I don't usually like to rate compilations so highly, but you just can't fault this one. 5/5
Ed Harcourt - Here Be Monsters (UK 2001)

Another album I originally brought after reading about it several times in Uncut and I am highlighting it here as there was a short piece on him at the start of this issue. This album I never really connected with and I actually sold my copy several years ago, although I still have it in digital format. A singer/songwriter album which is well produced and played and is a worthy effort as a debut for this young man and although there are some interesting pieces, I still don't really connect with it too much. Not  a bad record and highly respected by Uncut and All Music, but not my cup of tea and I will remove it form my hard drive.Rating 2.5/5
The Strokes - This is It (USA 2001)

It is interesting how the media work, this band had a lot of attention in Uncut when I first started reading it. Which means I missed the initial hype before the release of this album but got it after and was inspired to check it out. I can't remember if I heard about them from other sources or even heard any of their music before I brought this CD, but I think they did get some air play here. This album was reviewed in this issue of Uncut and it certainly isn't what I would call a rave review and only got 2.5 stars and yet it still got raved about in later issues.
A nice concise slab of contemporary jangley indie pop, Short, concise well crafted songs, a lot of which have become part of my musical consciousness over the years. Not as strong as I remembered, maybe not ageing too well and certainly not a full on rocking affair, quite laid back but mostly enjoyable and although not a bona fide classic, worth more than 2.5 stars and I will give it 3.5/5
The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola (USA1972)
Just finished watching this famous movie tonight. There was a very good several page feature on The Godfather trilogy in this issue, due to the fact that they were all released in a deluxe box set around this time. With interviews with Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. I just happen to have that particular box set in my collection.
A riveting and enjoyable movie and deserving of all the hoopla it generated. A drama of the highest calibre with some fantastic acting and a classic gangster story. kinda makes you wonder what makes people like that tick and a taste of why society lets people get away with this sort of behaviour. So glad I live my nice quiet, peaceful existence where I am and don't have to associate with people like that except on the TV screen. Rating 5/5

Bjork - Debut (UK 1993)
Bjork had just released a new album, Vespertine, and was interviewed in this issue of Uncut. I don't get into her later music but am familiar with several tracks from this debut album. A great and unique voice in contemporary pop and plenty of influences at work in this set of electro based songs where Bjork get to extend her full vocal range. I have been trying hard not to really like this set over the last couple of weeks on the ipod due to a couple of real annoying tracks that bother me some and other ones that don't come across that well on casual listening. closer inspection reveals much more going on here with plenty of stylistic explorations. The set kicks off with the excellent "Human Behaviour" which should need no introduction and is followed by another two  enjoyable tracks before we get to the first two "annoying tracks", "There's More to Life Than This" has Her worst vocal, especially the lame piece where the door shuts on the music while Bjork keeps singing. The next track is a chaotic ballad accompanied on auto harp and eventually some sickly strings and seems to meander pointlessly. The pain is relieved again with the well known and groovy " Big Time Sensuality". One Day" is a more trance like number and is a nice track to keep me interested. Things get a bit down-tempo on the next couple of tracks and are also ok. "Violently Happy" hits techno territory and is another worthwhile addition to this set. The album finishes on a mellower note with a semi acapella number supported by a minimal brass section and nothing else. A not unpleasant way to finish the album and with 2 essential songs several pretty good tracks and two horrible ones, I will rate this 3/5.
The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues (UK 1998)
Another album that has been raved about for years and with the immanent release of  a set of additional studio out takes from the Fisherman's Blues sessions, this issue of Uncut reported on that release. A sort of sea shanty blues and country pop feel permeates this album and I am still getting to grips with it. Starts off strong with two tracks I am quite familiar with due to their inclusion on later uncut CDs and stylistically stays on the same track for the next couple of reasonable numbers. Things get more traditional on "Jimmy Hickey's Waltz". The album carries on as it started with some slower numbers as well and is another album that stands up better under more focussed attention than just background music while I work. Not a record I would rave about but I can appreciate the attention it has gotten in the past. Rating 3/5.
Elton John -  Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (UK 1975
Elton had just released a new album which Uncut reviewed this issue and I  I had some early Elton albums on my hard drive ready for review. Many of his early albums are highly regarded and I do like quite a few of his popular hits from back then. This album is a very good album with good production(although I don't like the drum sound they produced)and quality song writing and I can see the merit in it, but I really don't connect with this and I would be better served with a greatest hits package.
Rating 2/5.

Ghost World - Terry Zwigoff Director USA 2001)
Good old Alice in videoland had a copy of this American indie teenage movie with attitude. This film was profiled in this issue for an upcoming release in the UK. A far more intelligent teen comedy than the usual fodder and a bit darker in places with the film ending on a metaphor to keep us guessing. I enjoyed this movie and was especially able to connect with Seymour, the blues collector, without whom I probably wouldn't have stuck with this flick, being a blues fan myself. My rating 3/5.

Tim Buckley - Happy Sad (USA 1969)
Each month Uncut profiles a classic album from the vaults, so to speak, and this issue they highlighted Tim Buckley's "Happy Sad". Buckley's distinctive voice sounds like a laid back male version of Odetta crossed with Joan Baez . This set is Tim's version of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" but with much more melody in these extended late night folk/jazz pieces.
Takes a bit of getting use to his voice but after repeated exposure his soulful crooning grows on me and sits well with the organic flow of the music on this lovely set. Rating 3.5/5.

The White Stripes - The White Stripes (USA 1999)
The reason  I picked this one off my CD rack was due to a live review of The White Stripes in this issue. The Debut from one of the most important bands of the new millennium. Raw blues based minimal Rock N' Roll from Jack and Meg. Jacks Blues drenched guitar pyrotechnics are extraordinary and Meg's minimal percussion just perfect. I just totally dig this band and this first record and Jack's guitar and Meg's drums. Mostly originals, with a couple of covers and not a weak song here. I just have to give this 5/5. Another album of the month. Play Loud, Play Very loud.

The Who - Live At Leeds (UK 1970)
 The cover stars of this here issue and a most enjoyable article it was too. Also there was a review of this album due to the re-release on double CD of the entire concert(The Deluxe Edition), which I just happen to have in my CD collection to replace the much shorter original release which I use to  have on vinyl. One of the greatest live albums ever and Pete Townsend's playing is just fantastic, the guitar sound is phenomenal and Rodger and the rest of the band are at the top of their game. On my original copy I was blown away by the covers of "Young Man Blues" and "Summertime Blues" and now with the expanded first disc we get to hear the totally awesome 15 minute jam on "My Generation" where Townsend turns out some sublime riffs. Disc Two is the second half of the show where they play a substantial amount of "Tommy", Townsend's Rock Opera from their last album at the time. I think I enjoyed the live version of Tommy more than the album version, although I do  prefer the studio versions of the totally fucking awesome "Pinball Wizard" and "See Me, Feel Me". It was also interesting to take notice of the small sounding crowd they played to at this gig. Uncut gave this release 5 stars and I will concur and do the same.5/5.

The Godfather Part II - Frances Ford Coppola (USA 1974)
Finally found some more time to sit down and watch this 3 hour + marathon of a movie, continuing on with the story of Michael Corleone and watching his plunge into the depths of darkness as the power he welds corrupts him and strips him of the things he loves the most. A well made movie and executed well enough to keep me interested throughout its prodigious length. Plenty of good acting and great sets, especially the early New York scenes from the early years of the 20th Century. Anyway, this one gets a Roddus Rating of 4/5.

The Godfather Part III - Frances Ford Coppola (USA 1990)
The completion of this trilogy and I wonder how this one went down with the Catholic Church? Probably the weakest of the three movies but still and enjoyable ride and gets a rating of 3.5/5.

Traffic - Stephen Soderburgh Director (USA 2000)
Another cool movie reviewed in this issue and one that I purchased on DVD, probably from recommendation in Uncut. This one got a 5 star rating for the DVD release and although I wouldn't rate it quite as high as that but I did really enjoy this multifaceted story on drug trafficking and Soderburgh is an A class director. Highly recommended and My rating is 4/5.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - George Roy Hill Director (USA 1969)
Another DVD release reviewed and another one I happen to have in my collection. A light hearted western, apparently based on true events and one that has become a classic over the years. Some good laughs and a bit of fun, this one got 4 stars and although I do enjoy it I wouldn't get over excited about it and will rate it 3/5.

The Score - Frank Oz Director (USA 2001)
A three star review from Uncut for this heist movie directed by Muppet man Frank Oz. An OK movie, a bit short on action till the heist takes place and a nice little twist at the end. Good enough to keep me watching for two hours till the the final credits and an enjoyable part played by Brando with his somewhat campish Max, a interesting contrast to his role as The Godfather in one of the earlier movies I recently watched. I will rate it 2.5/5.

Sexy Beast - Jonathan Glazer Director (UK 2000)
Sticking with gangster movies for this UK version of a not totally dissimilar story to the one above. This one was reviewed for the DVD release and Uncut gave it 5 stars. Ben Kingsley's portrayal of the totally psychotic and anti-social Don Logan is outstanding and I bet he had a ball doing it, I truly hope that I never ever meet someone as fucked up as that. Overall it is a good film and over all too soon, after its 88 minutes. Like the movie above there are no Cops involved in this and the "Bad Guy" gets his due and the "Not So Bad" guy gets the loot(sort of). My rating 3.5/5

Jefferson Airplane - The best Of Jefferson Airplane (USA 1996)
Perhaps the quintessential San Francisco band, The ...Airplane had several of their early albums re-released and reviewed in this issue. I don't own any of their albums, but I do have a copy of this best of collection on CD. I'm not a big fan of them and this set is enough for me to own and the main reason I brought this disc was so I could own copies of two of the most fantastic songs from the sixties, The unforgettable "White Rabbit" and the truly magnificent "Somebody to Love". The rest of this set contains plenty of above average 60s San Francisco psychedelic rock and I will give it an overall rating of 3.5/5.

Bob Dylan - Love and Theft (USA 2001)
Another Bob album that gets rave reviews and 5 stars in Uncut on its release. I do like most of Bobs latest stuff and this laid back album has some pretty good moments and although I wouldn't rate this music anywhere near as classic as some do, I still appreciate it as a quality release from a top quality artist. I like the rockier moments more than the crooning ones, although "Mississippi" is the best of the slower tracks. There is plenty of variety on this set but in a subtle way with touches of Jazz, swing, blues, hillbilly, just to name the obvious ones. Just under one hour of pure Dylan, with all tracks written by the Bard, and with Bob now into his seventies, I doubt there will be a lot more Dylan originals to come. A pleasant record and gets a Roddus Rating of 3.5/5.

Starship Troopers - Paul Verhoeven Director (USA 1997)
 This one got a surprising 5 star rating for the DVD issue of this gory and somewhat light hearted Sci-fi flick. I seem to remember seeing the trailer for this at the movies back in 97' although I don't remember if I saw it on the big screen or later on DVD. Anyhow, I had forgotten that I had seen it at all, until I started watching it again tonight after Mrs. Roddus rented a copy from the ever reliable Alice In Videoland. I bit of light entertainment is the order of the day here and I do prefer my Sci-fi to be a little more serious in its approach. Plenty of eye popping CGI and action but a pretty weak story and not much character development as well as plenty of macho bull to round it off. I guess I see now why I didn't remember seeing it already, a pretty forgettable film, but entertaining enough to keep me amused throughout. Rating 2.5/5.

True Lies - James Cameron Director (USA 1994)
This James Bond homage really doesn't deserve the 5 stars that Uncut gave the DVD release of this film. I enjoy James Cameron films and have several in my collection and although this is a full on action movie with the usual Cameron mass destruction, the story is pretty lame and almost embarrassing in places. A few giggles here and there from some one liners gives it a bit of a lightweight feel and also I have always struggled with the completely impossible over the top things that the hero's do in these films(I am not a fan of James Bond). Still it is a good thing for mankind that the bad guys can fire several thousand rounds of ammunition and never hit the good guy, where as the good guy hits a bad guy with every shot and he is always outnumbered 100:1. Rating 2/5.

Reds - Warren Beatty Director (USA 2001)
I had never heard of this film even though it was nominated for 12 academy awards. The DVD release got a very short review in this issue and received 5 stars and seeing as I enjoy historical dramas I thought I would check it out. I struggled to stay with this film in the early stages, especially with the snippets of interviews of people who had known John Reed (The American Communist on whom this movie is based), which gave the movie a documentary feel. Things got better once the relationship between John and Louise Bryant was established and we got to the Revolution parts. From what short research I have done, the film sticks pretty close to the real story and overall Beatty had done a pretty good job of creating and interesting and somewhat informative film with an impressive role played by Diane Keaton's Louise. My rating 3.5/5.

Wall Street - Oliver Stone Director (USA 1987)
Slowly getting through the list of movies I thought would be worth watching from this issue of Uncut and this one was reviewed for the DVD release. I had heard of this film and had never had the inclination to watch it until now, with the 5 star review Uncut gave this  film my inspiration to give it a go. I fast paced drama about greed and power, I found it watchable and managed to stay with it till the end but I wouldn't say it was a classic. Douglas did an impressive job with the bad guy and won an Oscar for it but the story line is pretty basic with the hardest bits to follow being some of the finicial transactions going on. My rating 2.5/5.

Gandhi - Richard Attenborough Director (UK 1982)
 Another film released on DVD and reviewed with only 4 stars in this issue. I actually have the 20th anniversary reissue of this on DVD and it is an astounding movie in every way. I totally enjoyed the entire 3 hours of its duration and am moved and inspired by the life of this great man.
Apparently a faithful version of some of the pivotal events in Gandhi's life, a stunning performance by Ben Kingsley and an epic movie to boot. They don't come much better than this and gets a rating of 5/5 on the Roddus-o-meter.

Center Of The World - Wayne Wang  Director (USA 2001)
Still getting through the list of movies I compiled from this issue to check out and tonight I finally got something I couldn't watch right through. I thought I would check out something that I knew would be well outside what I usually like to watch with this film that was mentioned in a news item and also reviewed with three stars. This movie is a sexual drama and although steamy in places, it really doesn't do any thing exciting with its' subject. The characters are thin and boring and almost too every day. The filming, although digital, looks amateur and grainy and overall is just plain boring. I fast forwarded through most of the movie and could still get a slight feel for where the story was going, which was nowhere. One of the worst films I have tried to watch, avoid. Rating 0/5.

Pitch Black - David N. Twohy Director (USA 2000)
I am a pretty big sci-fi fan but I had avoided this well known movie due to the fact that I figured it would be a second rate job and I wasn't too into Vin Diesel either with his Riddick character, from what I'd seen in trailers and shorts. This was reviewed with four stars for the DVD release so I thought I would give it a go. The first set piece of the film is a pretty impressive space ship crash and really gets things going with a hiss and a roar. Things then head in the direction of what I expected as mentioned above as the  thriller/horror aspect kicks into gear and we head into "Alien" territory and also a bit of "Starship Troopers" with the types of aliens encountered. A few roll your eyes moments as the director and Vin try to give Riddick a touch of humility, but fail miserably and so although I was mildly entertained for about 103 minutes, I feel this only rates about 2.5/5.

Almost Famous - Cameron Crowe Director (USA 2000)
I enjoyed this music related film set in the early 70s about a young teenage wannabe music journalist who goes on the road with an almost famous rock band to get an article for Rolling Stone Magazine. Some good laughs in places and an interesting cameo by Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the infamous hack Lester Bangs. Uncut gave this a 3 star rating and I agree and will give it 3.5/5.

Shallow Grave - Danny Boyle Director (UK 1994)
Carrying on with the movies reviewed that look interesting and this quite entertaining thriller about three flatmates who's other roommate dies of a drug overdose and leaves a suitcase of money under his bed. Plenty of interesting twists as things don't quite turn out the way you think they might. This one got 5 stars from uncut and although I enjoyed it and it kept me entertained throughout its 91 minutes, I'm not gonna rush out and get a copy for my collection. I'll rate it 3.5/5

Serpico - Sidney Lumet Director (USA 1974)
Getting near the end of the list of movies I wanted to watch from this issue of Uncut and we have another excellent role played by Pacino, fresh from his breakthrough in "The Godfather" with his portrayal of New York Cop Frank Serpico, the true story of an honest cops fight against corruption in the NY police department. Uncut rated this 4 stars and I will agree. More of a drama than an action movie but quite riveting till the end although not enough that I would want to add it to my collection.

Shiner - John Irvine Director (UK2000)
Reviewed with 4 stars for its theatrical release in this issue, I do like Michael Cain and he is outstanding playing this brutish gangster who falls to pieces as his shady life catches up with him just as he thinks he has finally made it. A violent and somewhat nasty film full of the sort of characters who you hope never to cross paths with in the real world and of course karma catches up with most of them by the bloody end of the film. I did enjoy this thriller and although I wonder about the people who think up this stuff and also how much of it could be a depiction of the way certain people do behave in our society, I try not to take it all too seriously. Rating 3.5/5

The Harder They Come - Perry Henzell Director (Jamaica 1972)
This cult classic was DVD of the month in this issue and received 5 stars as well as a full page review. I had been aware of this film for quite some time, probably due to the music connections, what with the excellent reggae soundtrack it sports, but this is the first time I have viewed it. The film, looks so authentic with its Kingston Ghetto scenes and grainy looking film and the actors mostly appear to be amateurs but it gives a real sense of being there in the grubbiness of the place. This film also bears a loose relationship with the above previewed "Serpico" in that the actions of the lead character are somewhat  influenced by the corruption around him although in this film the protagonist goes in the somewhat opposite direction and of course ends up falling in a hail of bullets in the end. An interesting and enjoyable flick, but, although of historical importance within the film industry, I wouldn't rave about it as much as Uncut did and one reason is some of the film work, a particular example being when Ivan bursts into his drug rivals room to find a girl he had been with earlier on in the night, naked in the bed and as he sits up in terror as he is about to shoot her the bed cloths fall away and the camera zooms straight in on her breasts before panning back for the execution. A very cheap shot indeed. Anyhow my rating 3.5/5.
Various Artists - Nuggets:Original Artyfacts from The British Empire and Beyond (Rhino USA 2001)
I have saved the best till last for this post and for this set this will be more of a rant than a review.
The second volume of the excellent Nuggets series is just totally chock full of absolutely classic British psych and garage rock from around the world in the 60s. Of the 109 songs on this four CD Box Set, there are no lemons and many of these songs have become all time favourites for Uncle Roddus. For collectors of this type of music, it doesn't get any better than this, except, maybe, vol.1. This set even has a couple of outstanding New Zealand tracks. The indie bands of today don't even come close to the raw power. energy and passion of some of this music and each time one of the best songs comes on from this collection I just get Goosebumps of bliss listening to their sublime quality. There are far far to many highlights to list from this set, I just love this stuff,compulsory listening.Rating 5+/5

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