On the box: Ready Steady Cook!
In the player: Bichunmoo
Heavy rotation: HIM (well duh)
Sore thumbs: VPW2
Right now, Jay is one happy little bastard.
I’m a HUUUUUGE mark for Finnish goth-rockers HIM. And I’ve been itching to see them live for a long ass time now. The problem is, they only rarely perform outside their home turf of mainland Europe, and whenever they head to England, it’s either as part of a festival that I don’t want to go to (Download), or they run tiny venues in London that sell out faster than Krusty the Clown at a Canyonaro convention.
So HIM are supposed to be supporting Ozzy on his September/October UK tour, but the daft old bastard breaks his foot and deep sixes my chances of seeing them any time soon. But, the band are already scheduled to do a signing at Virgin Megastore in Picadilly Circus to promote their new single so, being the cool motherfuckers they are, they announce that they’ll be performing an exclusive gig for 200 fans at a secret location in order to make it up to them. Kerrang! ran a competition where 100 fans could win a pair of tickets, and guess what?
JAY MOTHERFUCKING SPREE WON TICKETS, BIYATCH.
I didn’t make it to the signing in Virgin the band were due to start signing at 6pm, but there were hardcore fans (much more hardcore than myself) who were queuing from 7:30am. 7:30am! That’s nearly ELEVEN HOURS!!!!!!! Psychos. So anyway, seeing as we didn’t arrive until 5:35pm, it would’ve been pretty fruitless joining the queue since it was already wrapping halfway around London, so we just hit up the nearest Burger King and chilled out. Obviously a whole shitload of fans didn’t get to see the band, including fans who’d been waiting in line for five hours, which is crazy enough, but there was a girl who’d come all the way from Romania to see them and got turned away. Ouch. There were a bunch of skaters wearing Bam Margera shirts who not only took a shitload of abuse from the real fans, but were probably shocked when (well, if) they got into Virgin and saw some Finnish dude with eyeliner instead of their favourite Jackass icon.
So anyway, after about half an hour of trying to navigate Camden looking for a parking space while skirting the Central London border (which you have to pay a congestion charge in order to cross), and another twenty minutes fucking about on the tube, we arrived at Camden Street Station just opposite The Underworld, where the band would be kicking major ass. It was pretty bizarre goths are simultaneously the most frightening and the most friendly people on the planet, but seeing dozens of them converging outside a club all grasping emails to prove they’ve won tickets to a secret gig was just surreal. More surreal were the fucked up cats we met inside, including the world’s first and only black goth, and a crazy motherfucker called Dan who was on Pop Idol (our version of American Idol) a couple of weeks ago and was signing autographs and getting his picture taken. I would heartily advise everyone to head on over to Dan's website, because the dude is going to release a song called “How High is Your Waste Band?” which is a dis record aimed at Simon Cowell.
Something else I’ve noticed about goths is that they’re very short. I’m not exactly Kevin Nash I’m only 6’1” but I was easily one of the tallest there. Sam’s pretty tall for a girl I guess, at 5’10”, but I wouldn’t have said that was anything out of the ordinary. What IS out of the ordinary are the scores of goth chicks who, while hot as fuck, were absolutely tiny and I almost had to bend right over to talk to. Crazy.
The show was scheduled to start at 9:30, but tit turns out that the band didn’t even get away from Virgin until 9:45, and didn’t get onstage until 10:30, which kinda pissed everyone off. What pissed me off was one of the aforementioned goth midgets who was trying to shove her little ass in front of me and Sam. We were right in the second “row” of the pit, next to a big pillar. The little bitch was sort of behind us, and stayed there quite happily for about an hour before deciding that she wouldn’t see anything behind a big fucking pillar and started trying to shove us out of the way. Bearing in mind she was literally about five feet tall, and she kept talking all this shit to me but I couldn’t make most of it out because she was so fucking short I had to look down to see her. Idiot.
Anyway, the group FINALLY showed up, an hour late, and Ville Valo (the lead singer) was looking totally fucked on coke and beer. Which he was! He could still sing though, so nobody cared. Despite some sound problems (“This man is our very German sound technician, and he’s always fucking up”), those motherfuckers put on an awesome show. A bunch of people got surfed onto the stage and stopped to put a fag in Ville’s mouth or give him a beer before getting dragged off. Ville took his shirt off and the girls screamed. I smoked cigarettes for the first time in a couple of years and nearly blew my head off. It was great they played for a good hour and twenty minutes before calling it a night, and Sam was good enough to drive three hours to get us home before going to work the next morning. That’s my girl.
So there you go nearly a thousand words about a guy you’ve never met going to see a group most people have never heard of. If you like really heavy guitars, dark love songs and a gothic edge, I’d highly recommend picking up Razorblade Romance because it’s fucking ace.
I want to send a HUGE shout out to my main, main, MAIN man from the TSM forums, Little Naitch. Not only did the dude hook me up with a copy of the WrestleCrap CD, but he also sent me a really awesome four-disc compilation of wrestling greatness, including everything from the Desire videos to Hell In The Cell matches to the Owen Driver to Bret-Owen at Mania X and a shitload more. I’ll be doing some sort of writeup on this bad boy very soon, but if you want to get a copy of your own just drop the man a line at: [email protected]
And with that, I should probably get on with my job…
WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK
It looks like a pretty slow week to me, although Disney DVDs are always a special occasion for a lot of folks.
The Sleeping Beauty: SE is absolutely lit to the gills with extras, and the transfer hasn’t suffered for their inclusion (which usually happens with Disney discs). I’m not nearly interested enough in the flick to list all the extras, but I’m guessing anybody who wants the set already knows what they are anyway. Season Two of 24 will probably be high on everyone’s list of purchases, although I bailed on the show long ago. If you’re one of the many who stuck with the series, you’ll enjoy commentary on selected episodes, about forty deleted scenes and a shitload of featurettes.
While not even the combined awesomeness of Chow Yun Fat and Seann William Stiffler could save Bulletproof Monk from the crapper, the DVD looks pretty stocked, with two commentaries, deleted scenes with commentary, alternate ending with commentary, and a bunch of featurettes. The Core is a similar crapfest, with lines like “You want me to HACK THE PLANET?”, but I;m sure someone appreciated its… unique charm. The DVD has a commentary, ten deleted scenes, and some featurettes. I know, I sound as interested as I am.
There are SuperBits of Hook, The Professional and Lawrence of Arabia, which arrives on a two-disc set. Hooligans & Thugs: Soccer’s Most Violent Fan Fights sounds fun, and Woman With Red Hair… well, everyone knows my fondness for redheads, but I’m guessing this isn’t the fanny flick I want it to be.
OOH ARRR, ME HEARTIES
The awesome Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley wankfest Pirates Of The Caribbean is due to drop on December 2nd, just in time for Santa to pop it into your Christmas stocking. I’d love to pop into Keira’s stockings too, but I don’t think my Christmas is gonna shape up as good as that.
The DVD should almost make up for it though. It’ll be a two-disc piece of booty with anamorphic and 5.1 trimmings. There’ll be two commentary tracks, one with the director, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Jerry Bruckheimer, and one with the film’s writers, of which there appear to be four.
Then there’s the usual barrage of (as yet unnamed) featurettes, deleted scenes, galleries, a blooper reel, and a piece called ‘Below Deck’, “an interactive history of pirates”. No one’s really sure what that constitutes, but it’s there nonetheless.
Thanks to IGN.
The Hulk, one of the better comic book adaptations to hit movie screens (after The Crow, X2, The Storm Riders and Conan) is heading our way on October 28th.
While the disc’s specs have been out for a while, a new feature that’s just been announced is the inclusion of a demo for the Xbox version of the Hulk videogame. Pop the DVD into your Xbox and you’ll be able to play the entire first level of the game, which actually sounds better than it is, since the first level is really little more than a tutorial to showcase the Hulk’s moves. It’s still a neat extra, though, and better than a kick up the ass.
What’s interesting to me is that Microsoft landed this as an exclusive deal what with Sony’s synergies and movie industry connections, I’m surprised that a) Sony didn’t think of this idea first, and that b) they didn’t/couldn’t pull some strings to get a PS2 demo on the DVD as well as the Xbox one.
It’s also worth pointing out that, while a lot of DVD sites including IGN are pimping the inclusion of a videogame demo as a first for the Hulk DVD, the R2 Predator: Special Edition released early last year actually included a complete level from Aliens VS Predator. Just saying is all.
LOTR AND THE FUONL
As reported last week, a lot of people have found that their copy of LOTR:TTT is dodgy. The problems seem to occur both at the layer change in chapter 26 (right before Aragorn does some abseiling) and in chapter 51 after the “The battle for Helm’s Deep” spiel.
If you’ve got a duff copy, drop New Line an email at [email protected] and include the following details:
- Make, model and year DVD player
- Place of purchase
- Exact problem
- Markings on inner ring of disc (on underside of disc right next to hole)
No word on whether or not New Line will offer to replace your disc, or in fact whether they’ll get back to you in any way at all, but if you want to help them work out the problem before taking your DVD back to the store, more power to you.
Cheers to the new IGN editor for looking out for the consumer.
THE END OF DVDS, CDS AND VIDEO?
It’s not really news, but there’s a pretty interesting article over at IGN by the new editor Andy Patrizio. He takes issue with a recent article stating that in five years we will all abandon physical media (i.e. video, music, and arguably games) en masse in favour of downloading and streaming media.
He makes some pretty good points, like the fact that Video On Demand hasn’t really taken off as a viable medium and the fact that DVDs offer unprecedented convenience and, perhaps more than anything else, collectablility. However, something that I think is very, very underestimated by critics is the “bottomless online spending factor”: There’s a CD I want on eBay, and I’m determined to have it, but I’ve mentally set myself a maximum bid of $20. It goes down the wire, and in the last five minutes, four people are bidding and driving the cost up and up. With a minute to go, the price is sitting at $24.50 and I think “screw it” and drop my bid. Time expires and I win the auction, and having happily PayPal’ed money to the winner, I have a quick peek at some other items I might like to buy. There’s a t-shirt I want for $5, so I hit Buy It Now because it’s so damn cheap. Shipping’s an extra $6, but it’s still cheap so I don’t care…
When you’re just banging your credit card number into websites, you’re detached from how much you’re spending. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s been on Play.com, or Amazon.com, or any number of places and just bought an extra DVD or two just because “they were cheap”, or “it was a great deal”, but if I had that money in my hand at a store, I wouldn’t spend like that in a million years. I’m not saying that fact alone is going to make streaming media a success, I just think it’s something that is certainly relevant to many consumers yet nobody really considers it when discussing the formats. Think about how many albums we’ve downloaded just because they were available to download that we wouldn’t have bought at the store out of curiosity alone.
But Andy discusses some really good stuff, and the article is definitely worth a read. Check it out here.
THE DIGITAL ALIEN QUADRILOGY BITS
Hot on the heels of news that Alien: The 2003 Director’s Cut will be in theatres for Hallowe’en, The Digital Bits chimed in with a little news on the hotly anticipated Alien Quadrilogy nine-discer.
The set IS still alive and kicking, and should see the light of day sometime in 2003 (I guess those tentative October 9th/November 11th dates are still plausible). However, the Alien Legacy documentary (that was the fifth disc of the original Alien Legacy set) will not be included, allegedly for space restrictions rather than the infamous licensing issues that have plagued the collection. The BBFC website is a goldmine for information on the set, but while sites have been restricted in what they can reveal about the features on the set, the Bits’ upcoming DVD Guide will have a complete list of specs, disc-by-disc. That’s certainly as good a reason as any to pick up the book, which will no doubt be full of all manner of useful DVD-related info from the Bits tech-heads. It’s due out at the end of the month and can be pre-ordered here.
This is gonna be my last update for a week or two, since I’ll be on holiday next week and probably the week after. I’ll still be checking my email from time to time, but I won’t be posting anything. Just saying.
Anything important, drop me a line before Sunday if you need a reply. If not, take care, and I’ll see you with a suntan. And remember:
EVEN JESUS PROMOTED WEAPONS~!
Read my archives, biatch.