Olympus Has Fallen: Gerard Butler to save the White House!

vendredi 02 août 2013      Olympus Has Fallen [DVD] [2013]

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a former bodyguard of the U.S President, was dismissed after a tragic accident that saw the death of the First Lady. But when a North Korean commando decided to attack the White House and to take the U.S. president (played by Aaron Eckhart) and other government officials hostage, Mike is the only person who can help them... Here is the scenario of this Hollywood blockbuster directed by Antoine Fuqua, director, among others of Training Day, who releases another film about a White House attack. We might have feared a new unoriginal film but Olympus Has Fallen is a captivating and entertaining action-thriller movie...

It is true that the originality of the scenario is not the strength of the movie and the plot is somewhat predictable, but we are still captivated very quickly. Besides, the action scenes are dynamic and efficient, including the impressive 13-minute scene where the White House is stormed by Norths Korean (too bad that the CG are not perfect quality!) . As far as the cast is concerned, Gerard Butler is a very believable secret agent and perfectly embodies the fusion of Jack Bauer (for his conscientious agent side) and John McLane (for his ability to take out bad guys in a row). The bad guy, played by Rick Yune is also very good and really hateful, fulfilling perfectly the role of the dark terrorist. One also notes the presence of Angela Bassett (Tina, ER, ...) and Morgan Freeman, but I find that both are a bit underused .

Olympus Has Fallen brings nothing new to Hollywood but is still a good action movie, led brilliantly by the main actor Gerard Butler. And for fans of the genre, a second film, White House Down, was released in theaters at the end of June.

Pacific Rim is THE summer blockbuster !

mercredi 31 juillet 2013      Pacific Rim [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free]

Awaited for months by millions of viewers worldwide, Pacific Rim is now in theaters. The director Guillermo del Toro gives us an impressive blockbuster, that I suggest to see on a giant screen to take advantage of the titanic clashes between giant robots and aliens. The story tells how huge monsters, the Kaijus, sparked a war that has claimed millions of victims. To fight these robots, Jaegers were developed. They are controlled simultaneously by two pilots who communicate telepathically with a neural bridge. Among these drivers, we found Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako (Rinko Kikuch), who will form together the last bastion of humanity against an increasingly imminent apocalypse...

Pacific Rim is without doubt the most ambitious movie of the summer. The staging is simply outstanding and action scenes are breathtaking. Fighting between the Jaegers and the Kaijus are impressive and completely immersive thanks to excellent special effects. This is also, to my eyes (you'll notice the pun!), the first film since Avatar that offers a truly successful 3D.

However, the scenario could have been improved. Pacific Rim begins in the most beautiful way, with a short introduction, which plunges us into the world and makes us drooling over to see Jaegers face the Kaijus. Unfortunately, the much anticipated fight happens much later, after a (too long) part, that is only used to justify the presence of Raleigh and Mako. But when the battle begins, no time to get bored, the eyes are wide open to admire the real show.

The cast is rather surprising for a blockbuster of this magnitude. Del Toro chose not to hire any renowned actor, probably to let the first place to the towering monsters and robots. The main actors therefore suffer a bit of a lack of charisma and credibility, which is reflected in the few emotional scenes. However, the supporting cast fulfill their function well, including Charlie Day, who is particularly funny.

To conclude, Pacific Rim is a great blockbuster, driven by nice special effects. The scenario is not surprising but the purpose of such a film is not to surprise by his story but to thrill the audience in spectacular battles, and there the contract is largely fulfilled !

Unorthodox Jukebox: Bruno Mars gives us a quality jukebox

jeudi 27 juin 2013      Unorthodox Jukebox [Explicit]

Bruno Mars became famous to the general public in 2010 with the huge success of his debut album Doo-Woops and Hooligans, which contains genuine hits like Just The Way You Are, Grenade and The Lazy Song. Two years later, the young American from Hawaii is back with a second solo album, Unorthodox Jukebox, released December 6, 2012. This new album was expected by his fans as "confirmation" album. Let's see what it is...

First thing you notice when looking at the tracklist, the album contains no featuring: no duet with the singer of the moment to sell more, only solo songs and it is a good thing because the album is very (too) short, 10 songs for 35 minutes, it goes very quickly.

The album starts with Young Girls, a mind-blowing song in the style of Grenade, which makes us travel directly into the singer of the world. Locked Out of Heaven, the first single from the album, is a real dancefloor call-to-arms with a small vintage / rock 'n'roll that makes it addictive. Treasure is an excellent funk song and is very similar to what the Bee Gees or Kool & the Gang could do. We remain in the 80s atmosphere with Gorilla and Moonshine, retro pop songs that reflect the influence of Michael Jackson on Bruno Mars (the artist has never hidden his admiration for the King of Pop). The next song When I Was Your Man is a piano ballad that the young ladies, among others, fan of Bruno Mars' sweet voice will like. In a rhythmic kind, Natalie is a song with a good melody but not necessarily surprising. On Show Me, Bruno Mars reminds us that he comes from Hawaii with a rather convincing swaying reggae.
The following title Money Make Her Smile is more surprising since it is a electro-rock song that does not really fit with the universe of Bruno Mars and the track is a bit disappointing. However, the album ends beautifully with If I Knew, a languorous slow that concludes this second album in the most beautiful way.

Unorthodox Jukebox bears its name perfectly. The album is a true jukebox containing songs with different styles (ballads, disco, soul, reggae, pop) but always of quality. With this second album, Bruno Mars confirms perfectly the hopes placed in him and gives us a homogeneous and accomplished album.

Yeezus: is Kanye West divine?

mercredi 26 juin 2013      Yeezus [Explicit]

Three years after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West is back with a new solo album! And as always with the rapper, this sixth album is disproportionate ... Yeezus, that's the name of this sixth album, a pun on Yeezy (his nickname) and Jesus, just that! And while Kim Kardashian's boyfriend has accustomed us to weekly teasers with his G.O.O.D Friday for his previous album, this time the strategy is totally different because there is simply no strategy: No single, no video clip, no preorder, no advertising, not even information about the tracklist and cover art until a few days before the release... For his sixth album, Kanye West is really mysterious. But now that the album is out, it's time to see what it holds.

Every Kanye album has a different color. The College Dropout and Late Registration have many soul influences, Graduation is a festive album, 808s & Heartbreak, where Kanye uses Autotune sounds very pop and R'n'B and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a very personal album mixing all aspects of the artist. With Yeezus, Kanye West takes a new turn by mixing electro, industrial and trap music for a dark and wild result.

The album starts strong with On Sight, an efficient electro track produced by Daft Punk, whose influence is immediately felt. The French electro group also co-produced the following three songs (Black Skinhead, I Am A New God and New Slaves). The first one, Black Skinhead is a dark rock song, consisting of destructive verses and overpowering bass. In I Am A God, Kanye shows his ego off and compares himself modestly to God. New Slaves deals with a controversial topic: modern slavery, in particular for the African-American community, which is becoming more and more slave to material desires. The song's atmosphere is simply brilliant, and the icing on the cake is that Frank Ocean concludes the song after a dizzying pace of change. Hold My Liquors in featuring with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and rapper Chief Keef is a totally different song. Musically, it is floating, sometimes hovering, which fits perfectly with the song's theme (drinking problems).
The sixth song, I'm In It, mixes ragga and R'n'B atmosphere for an amazing cocktail, which is for me below the rest of the album. With Blood On The Leaves, Kanye proves he has not completely left the auto-tune and sign a very "808s and Heartbreak" song, a highlight of the album! On Guilt Trip, Kid Cudi is a great crooner for a hovering song, which takes us into the mind and spirit of Kanye. The penultimate song seems closer to the first four song's style. And for good reason, it is co-produced by Gesaffelstein, a young French DJ (France is decidedly popular with Mr West!). The song is good, without being either transcendent as could be On Sight or Black Skinhead.
The album ends with Bound 2 in featuring with Charlie Wilson, a song which is in stark contrast with the rest of the album and which seems to come straight from Late Registration. In this last song, Kanye speaks of love and confides in his girlfriend Kim Kardashian (who gave him his first child 3 days before the release of the album!), a great way to conclude the album...

Kanye West warned us, Yeezus is not an album like others. It is not planned for radios or for dancefloors (although the presence of Daft Punk could let us think). Even if Yeezus is different from all his previous albums, Kanye West has once again pushed the codes and made it in his image : rebellious, self-centered, wild and cold at once. Whether we like him or not, the self-proclaimed hip-hop god is definitely an exceptional artist!

Indicud: Kid Cudi is still on the moon

mercredi 19 juin 2013      Indicud [Explicit] [+digital booklet]

The American Hip-hop scene sometimes seems to seek an identity between this electro hip hop crossed with dubstep and this watered down pop rap. But artists like Kid Cudi are here to bring some freshness. His first two albums, Man on the Moon: The End of Day and Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager have been very well received by the public and critics including hits like Day'n'Nite or Erase Me. He then tried a rock project with his friend Dot da Genius to form the group WZRD but the album was not as successful as hoped. This time, he is back with a new solo album, Indicud

Before embarking on listening to Indicud, you must have an idea of this album's concept. Kid Cudi has been inspired by Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001 as the rapper has produced all 18 tracks on the album, the album features many guest appearances (Kendrick Lamar, Too $hort, RZA, Chip King, A$AP Rocky, ...) and he even moves aside behind them to let them express themselves better.
From the intro, the tone has been set and the rapper made ​​us into his mid-futuristic mid-dark world. Indicud is a totally different album from both Man on the Moon albums, but it feels right off the leg of Kid Cudi, productions reflect his fears and concerns and even anxiety (Young Lady and King Wizard). The different atmoshperes, at least as many as there are people in the head of the rapper flow well, from dark tracks (Unfuckwittable) to more rock'n'roll songs (Burn Baby Burn), and pure rap (Beez featuring RZA) to electro (New York City Rage Fest, Afterwards).
Keep up the pace during 18 titles is unfortunately difficult and Indicud knows some bad patches and some songs like Red Eye, Mad Solar, Lord of the Sad and Lonely and Cold Blooded do not add much except extend the tracklist.

Indicud is an amazing album on first listen, that certainly does not appeal to everyone but worth a few listens to be appreciated at its true value.