video review : The Worm Eaters

video review : The Worm Eaters

Herman Umgar, an old clubfooted man who lives a life of seclusion but for his collection of pet worms, is a “strange one”. He’s also the most endearing character in this movie; a horror comedy you’ll have to embrace the low-budget campiness of in order to enjoy. It’s not a good movie in the traditional sense, quite the contrary, but its flaws; the outrageous acting being the most obvious one; are greatly exceeded by its charm.

The plot has the villainous mayor launching a campaign to rezone Umgar’s land (lake) in order to build estates for profit, which provides just enough suspense to keep things crawling along. The title scenes, featuring close-ups of people eating what looks like real worms, are gross. The ones of Umgar bonding with his beloved pets are engaging, along with the (diegetic/non-diegetic) music, which include his own home ditties.

my rating : 4 of 5

1977

audio review : Can’t Let Her Get Away ( song ) … Michael Jackson

The verses and bridges, sang from the perspective of a guy distraught because his girlfriend is leaving him, sound superb. That’s partly because of pretty chords introduced to the otherwise sparse Swing beat. It’s the hook, one of Michael Jackson’s worst if only because it seems so incomplete, that’s anticlimactic.

The whole song, in fact, sounds like a demo, especially during the second half when the aforementioned verses and bridges are abandoned for what comes across as an extended Dub Mix. It’s a groovy song, strange structure and all. I’m just surprised it actually made it onto a Michael Jackson album as it is.

my rating : 4 of 5

1991

video review : Hell Or High Water

video review : Hell Or High Water

The Tanner and Marcus characters; a bank robber and Texas Ranger; are a bit over the top. It’s their partners; one in crime, the other in justice; that serve as their relatively normal counterparts if there is a such thing as normal people in Texas.

Hell Or High Water is a game of cat and mouse that’s both fun and mildly riveting from the start. That’s mainly due to the plot’s balance of humor and tension money-rolled with a tender backstory that’ll have you rooting for the purported bad guys.

my rating : 4 of 5

2016

McDonald’s Big Breakfast With Hotcakes

McDonald's Big Breakfast With Hotcakes

Aside from their legendary Filet-O-Fish, the best-tasting food you can get from McDonald’s is their Hotcakes with butter and syrup. The most delicious eating method is to use the syrup sparingly by not pouring it onto the cakes but dipping the cakes into it; the sweetness can become overbearing otherwise; after covering them in the whipped butter.

This Big Breakfast, which for me is a normal-sized breakfast, adds not only a sausage patty; the best side; but scrambled eggs, hash browns and a biscuit. That last bit comes across as a random add-on; pancakes are already a kind of bread; and hash browns aren’t a part of my ideal breakfast, but they help get you full, which is the ultimate goal here.

my rating : 4 of 5

audio review : U Got The Look ( song ) … Prince ( featuring Sheena Easton )

The concept here is a little confusing. The U in the title refers to “a pretty girl” Prince is “taken aback” by, but Sheena Easton sings the chorus and it’s hard to determine whether she’s supposed to be the girl or an artistic extension of Prince’s thoughts about the girl. The third verse, a repeat of the first, suggests the former, but who knows.

That hook is the best part of the song, especially the first four bars, though it’s the in-your-face drumbeat and sparse guitar riffs that keep it rocking. The setting seems to be some kind of dance club with “ugly lights”, but it’s the bed that will be rocking if heterosexual allure gets its way. “If your love is good,” one line goes, “let’s get to rammin”.

my rating : 4 of 5

1987

video review : Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa at UFC 253

video review : Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa at UFC 253

It seems Israel Adesanya is fulfilling his own prophecy by becoming one of the greatest UFC champions of all time. He has to acquire a lot more wins to reach the level of Anderson Silva and Jon Jones; two fighters his style comes across as a combination of, also my two favorite fighters; but he’s on his way.

“I wanna make him my bitch,” The Last Stylebender said of Paulo Costa in a promo interview and that’s exactly what he does. He bruises his body with vicious leg kicks, bruises his ego with a second round knockout and simulates prison rape via dry humps right there in the center of The Octagon.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

video review : Dominick Reyes versus Jan Błachowicz at UFC 253

video review : Dominick Reyes versus Jan Błachowicz at UFC 253

It doesn’t really make sense that Jan Błachowicz calls out Jon Jones after this fight, which is a title bout only because Jones decided to vacate the Light Heavyweight belt to compete in the Heavyweight division, but his victory is damn impressive. He’s able to do to Dominick Reyes what the former champion couldn’t, knocking him down and out in just the second round. “Polish power” indeed.

my rating : 4 of 5

2020

audio review : Something About The Way You Look Tonight ( song ) … Elton John

The best part of this song, which is conceptually reminiscent of Chris De Burgh’s Lady In Red; though, knowing Elton John, he’s probably singing about some dude; comes at the end. “The way you look tonight,” he says with passion, stretching the word “look” out to three seconds. I love that part.

my rating : 4 of 5

1997

audio review : Out For Fame ( song ) … KRS-One

This is a song about graffiti; probably my least favorite aspect of hip-hop culture. KRS-One is an advocate as he raps from the perspective of an artist with “25 cans in my knapsack… putting up my name with a fat cap.”

He goes on to shoutout Phase 2, Stay High, Presweet and other popular “writers”. The appeal is still lost on me, but I do like the song. That’s mainly because of the beat and the way the rapper flows onto it like a mural.

my rating : 4 of 5

1995

video review : Uriah Hall versus Paulo Costa at UFC 226

video review : Uriah Hall versus Paulo Costa at UFC 226

Uriah Hall might’ve won this fight if he were more evasive. Instead of sticking and moving, he stays planted in front of powerhouse Paulo Costa, where he does find some success. That comes mostly in the form of a “nasty” jab that bloodies Costa’s face in the very first round. He gets tagged and knocked down (out) in the second.

my rating : 4 of 5

2018

audio review : What Happened To The World ( mixtape ) … The Jacka

audio review : What Happened To The World ( mixtape ) ... The Jacka

The Jacka is better than the average rapper but not because of his raps. His retarded delivery is barely adequate. It’s his singing that stands out. My biggest complaint when it comes to rap songs is their tendency to falter during the breaks. The Jacka croons his hooks and seems to have a knack for composing catchy melodies, which does wonders for his songs.

Prime examples include What Are We and The Way We Was. Their only real flaws are that they’re cut too short at the end, which probably has to do with this set being a sloppy “audio documentary” mixtape, full with annoying DJ (Child) tags and all, than a proper album. Other highlights include The President’s Face, See It Thru, I’m Leaving and Love.

my rating : 4 of 5

2014

audio review : 3 Feet High And Rising ( album ) … De La Soul

audio review : 3 Feet High And Rising ( album ) ... De La Soul

3 Feet High And Rising is the name of a quiz show on which quirky contestants try to answer ridiculous questions for an unnamed prize. It’s a silly and seemingly irrelevant album concept, but it’s funny and, listening to the set, it’s obvious all De La Soul want to do is have fun.

The matter-of-fact style of their raps, which sometimes sound more like they’re reading aloud to small children, are amusing, but of the twenty-something tracks on the album, only about half are songs. The others are an anything-but-garden variety of short bits and interludes.

my rating : 4 of 5

1989