Friday, September 22, 2006

CD Review: A Matter of Life and Death by Iron Maiden

This was hard to come by. Not the CD, the review. I had mixed feelings when I heard the album for the first time. I thought it was a little boring, a shadow of what Maiden used to be. Then, the more I listened to it, the better it sounded. Turns out I actually like the album, although it's still a shadow of what Maiden used to be. Call this the "new era of Iron Maiden". It started with Brave New World and continues here. Most of the songs start off with that soft bass line that is so familiar to Maiden songs and then they pick up tempo. Here's the tracklist:
  1. Different World
  2. These Colours Don't Run
  3. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
  4. Pilgrim
  5. Longest Day
  6. Out of The Shadows
  7. Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
  8. For The Greater Good of God
  9. Lord of Light
  10. Legacy
As you can see, the songs are patriotic in theme as Iron Maiden is making their comment on modern society. Like I said, it's a good album, certainly not Maiden's finest, but it nice to see the old geezers still pumping out some very good music. Newer bands will never have the longetivity of the classic forefathers of rock, like Maiden, Priest, Kiss, and AC/DC!!! I give this latest Maiden disc ***1/2 out of *****.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Book Review: The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I absolutely love the Agent Pendergast novels. Full of action, intrigue, twists and turns, I'm telling you those books are great! That's why this is so hard. This latest journey with Pendergast isn't as fun or exciting as past visits. The thing is, is if you're a fan, you have to read this book. There are a lot of things that happen that are very important to the series in Book of the Dead. We find out more about Diogenes, the Pendergast family, and even Constance. When we last left the eccentric agent, he was locked away in Herkmoor prison, framed by his evil brother Diogenes, for the murders of many prominent people. Diogenes is on the loose plotting his ultimate crime. Lt. D'Agosta and the strange Eli Glinn collaborate on a plan to get Pendergast out of prison. The setting is again the New York Museum and focuses on the re-opening of the cursed Tomb of Senef. The same familiar faces are back in the fold, and by now you'd think they'd close the museum down after everything that's happened there! It's a delicately written, carefully constructed story that has a tendency to plod along at times, and the ending sets up an encore. The past two novels were better in my opinion, but as I said, a lot of important things are exposed in this one, so if you're a fan, read it! Overall, I give The Book of the Dead *** out of *****.

DVD Review: Dark Fields

I'm convinced that the artists responsible for cover art should be more involved with the actual film. This is yet another prime example of a DVD cover that is way better then the film. A group of teens get a ride from the pimply-faced school nerd to the big concert, unfortunately, nobody really knows how to get there and they run out of gas. They coast to a stop right by a big old scary house! Never mind the fact that there are tail lights from passing cars about 25 yards from where they are, they're STRANDED! The pimply-faced nerd goes to see if the scary house has gas, where he meets his demise, I guess, they never really say, but later, the others do find a drop of blood. Seems there's a killer on the loose. Just so happens he has a vendetta against gas thieves. I'm serious, that's his M.O., gas thieves. Never mind the fact that the pimple boy left him $10 and wasn't stealing gas, maybe the Gene Simmons wig the killer seems to be wearing obstructs his vision. I don't know, this film has some laughable scenes, whether or not they were intended to be funny is another matter. This is just a mindless film, with some mildly funny spots, and if not taken too seriously isn't too bad. I give Dark Fields ** out of *****.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

DVD Review: Are You Scared

Five seconds into this film and you're thinking "This is just like Saw!". Yeah, it is just like Saw. A group of young adults each wake up in a desolate, abandoned warehouse. It seems that at one time, they all applied to be on a new reality TV show called "Are You Scared?". The Jigsaw-like voice explains to them the rules of the game. One by one, they each have to head off to face their fear, and needless to say, they usually don't win. If Saw had never come out, this would have been a decent film, but now it just seems to be a copycat. There were a few scenes that were worth the price of admission, however. Unfortunately, the contestants were kind of irritating, and I figured out what the "twist" was to this one about 20 minutes into the film. Having said all that, it's still better than some of the crappers out there. I would recommend it on a night when there's nothing on, and Saw 2 is already rented. I give it **1/2 out of *****.