Freddy Vs. Jason: Site review.
Welcome to another multiple perspective review, this time, on the clash of the modern day titans, Freddy Vs. Jason. Look, I could go into a huge spiel about the history of these two, or the story of the characters, but come on! Freddy! Jason! Do I NEED to say anything here? (This was essentially a full-website review of Freddy vs. Jason, as something like all of the people on staff had gone to see it opening week, and I thought it’d be a fun thing to talk about as a group. We did a couple of these, though I’m honestly uncertain what the first thing was. We’ll find it eventually I suspect, but this seemed like a fun little recap, so here we are and here it is.)
Here’s a song you might not have realized had a video (or an actual band) behind it:
Yes, the band’s name is Yello, and there’s a video out there for it, which is… really kind of gross if you spend more than five seconds thinking on it, but the 80’s were a different time. What’s interesting is that Yello essentially still exists, and continues to make weird electronic music even now. I say that’s weird because, in the 80’s, that wasn’t a thing people really did, so in a way, they essentially helped along the process of what became techno music in some respects. If you listen long enough, you’ll even hear ambient pads towards the end that are reminiscent of what acts like BT and Darude have done through their careers.
That doesn’t make this a song that I ever really want to listen to actively ever again, but it is kind of interesting in its own way.
Genre: Survival Horror.
Developer: Black Label Games, Computer Artworks.
Publisher: Universal Interactive.
(This was written for YHCOR, and was essentially the last review for the site until I stopped writing for 411 about eight months after the fact, so we’ll swap back to those for a bit after this posting. I don’t know why I didn’t post this over at 411 since it coincided with my starting with the site well, though I think I had intended to update both sites with reviews routinely and it just didn’t pan out. When I think about how much free time I had back then, though, man, the things I could’ve done with a bit more drive. Oh well.)
Y’know, I enjoyed the movie The Thing when I sat down and watched it. I was really surprised that a movie made in the 80’s could be so stunning and creepy by today’s standards, and yet there were more than a few moments when I honestly was shocked and nearly jumped. It was one of John Carpenter’s finest films, and a classic that will endear in the horror movie classics for a long time to come. (Still agree; the acting was excellent and the practical effects are still awesome. I’m really depressed that the modern prequel invested so much money into practical effects, then replaced them all with CGI instead of enhancing the practical effects with it; think about how great that COULD have been, man. Well, the plot was still kind of eh, but aside from that.)
When I picked up the game, I had high expectations. Releasing the game on what would be the movie’s 20th anniversary, the game was set to take you beyond the movie, and hopefully answer any questions that had been burning in your brain after the movie ended. I had been hoping for a faithful adaptation of the movie’s facts, an answer to my questions, and a kickass experience overall. (As I understand it, John Carpenter does, indeed, consider the video game to be part of official franchise canon, and endorsed it when it came out, though whether or not it can be considered to have answered questions asked by the original film is another matter altogether.)
The first four hours more or less satisfied that desire. The rest…
Today we have The Weeknd:
Here’s an example of how the world has changed in the past few decades: Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, releases three huge mixtapes (they’re not technically on tapes anymore but the principle remains the same) in 2011, essentially turning him into an underground smash hit and a pioneer of “PBR&B,” “hipster R&B” or whatever you ultimately want to call it.* The song above (and yes, it is essentially a single song) is arguably the best song from his first mixtape, and possibly one of his best period, and it goes a long way toward showing why he managed to get as popular as he did.
In 2012, he proceeds to release all three as one set, thus officially getting his name out into the world good and proper, and he tours like a crazy person to promote himself. In 2013, he releases a full-on studio album and a couple of tracks on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This year, he did a song with Ariana Grande that featured a video which involves a lot of sand and basements, apparently.
Say what you will, but writing a song about snorting coke off of a table and fucking a girl in an apartment with an echo apparently ends with you doing a duet with a singer who came up through the Nickelodeon machine. Life is weird, man.
*It should be noted that Janelle Monae and Frank Ocean fall into this category, so you could essentially call it “R&B that nobody knows what to do with, since we used up the term ‘alternative’ back in the 90’s,” though that’s kind of long.
Jozen Cummings also (sarcastically) suggested the term “R&B that white people like,” but I’m pretty sure Dan O’Brien noted that Kanye West already owns the market on that genre, so I don’t know how well that’ll work out.**
**Yes, that’s meant to be entirely sarcastic; I just discovered a bunch of interesting links and wanted to fit them in somehow.
CD Review: A Perfect Circle, Thirteenth Step.
Genre: Experimental Rock.
(This was originally reviewed for YHCOR, and if I’m being honest, I completely forgot that we diversified a bit and started including music reviews, book reviews, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Joel did a series on horror directors at one point for example. It sucks too, because if I’d had any kind of real motivation or knowledge of how to do internet marketing at 25 I might have actually been able to make a go of YHCOR, since the market was still fairly wide open and we were apparently actually doing okay for ourselves. I mean “Your Hot Cup of Rant” isn’t really any worse than “Videogum” or “Warming Glow” as site titles go. Oh well, hindsight and all that.)
Ah, yes, Maynard James Keenan. You’d most likely know him as the lead singer of Tool, as that’s what he’s best known for, but he’s also the lead singer for A Perfect Circle, which is something of a side project for him. Okay, technically it’s Billy Howerdel’s band, but it might as well be Maynard’s band, because he’s the one selling the CD here. (That’s not entirely inaccurate; basically Howerdel made friends with Keenan while working as a guitar tech for Tool, and Keenan offered his services as a vocalist to Howerdel, boom, APC. Though these days Maynard kind of exists as an entity unto himself, given that he’s had success with Tool, APC and his own band Puscifer, and that Tool hasn’t seen a release in nearly a decade at this point.)
Today’s pick is God Lives Underwater:
1.) Insofar as GLU themselves go, I’ve mostly said everything I have to say about the band proper in my discussion on The Life of Reilly, so I don’t intend to get into it too much beyond that, save that they’re still one of my favorite bands, and
2.) Life in the So-Called Space Age was not a very good record, but the song above was easily the best track from it, and this video was honestly the first exposure I’d had to the band, ever. The kid in the video was some kind of competitive eating champion as I understand it, though the point was, obviously, about shit-talking, so it’s basically… well, a 90’s video, to be frank about it.
As I mentioned in the recap of my old Spider-Man review, I’m not a fan of the character anymore, and haven’t been for a very long time, which is entirely because of Marvel’s fuckhanded handling of his existence over the past decade or so. I originally became worn out on the character during “The Clone Saga,” because Marvel took a very good opportunity to do what they’d always wanted (have a single, YOUNG Spider-Man) and flushed it down the shitter. They had Ben Reilly, who could have been the Scarlet Spider in his own set of two books and had all of the dating drama, while Peter could have stayed Spider-Man and had all the married life storytelling, and instead they killed Ben (and brought him back because why the fuck not right?), reinstated Peter as the one, true Spider-Man, then made his life hell over the next several years. Threats of marriage problems, the revival of Aunt May, the death of Mary Jane, the fake-out of Mary Jane’s death, a trial separation, a terrible rebooted-then-ignored origin reboot… it got to be a bit much. I was back on board for a while when Spider-Man became an Avenger and his life seemed to be sorting itself out, but then “Civil War” screwed up a lot of his existence, and after unmasking him and nearly killing his aunt, Marvel finally, finally drove me away as a fan in the single most prominent way they could have: they undid his marriage to Mary Jane Watson at the hand of Mephisto, all so they could have their “single” Peter Parker again.