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Secret Executioner

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  1. Secret Executioner

    Neil Peart 1952-2020

    Never been that much into Rush, but the news somehow hit me hard.
  2. The title feels more like a Multiverse-oriented Family Guy episode or some comedy than horror. But I think horror should mix well with Strange. And it's about time Marvel did some horror, characters like Dracula and the Mummy (although there would likely be copyright issues for movie versions) exist in the Marvel Universe.
  3. Seems Tom Cruise is bound to keep making MI movies until it's literally Mission Impossible for him to film them.
  4. That gives weight to what Lord Dark Helmet once said:
  5. Secret Executioner

    What are we LISTENING to lately?

    Started 2020 with a little haul. D-A-D - A Prayer for the Loud (CD) (2019) Some classic hard rock from Denmark. Very straight-forward and enjoyable album. Equilibrium - Renegades (Limited 2-CD Digipack) (2019) Metal from Germany - not sure which subgenre, the album has Power Metal. Very diversified and enjoyable stuff, though long-time fans seem rather displeased with the change from the band's original Folk Metal style. Not regretting picking up this album that originally picked my interest because the second disc is an 8-bits remake of the album - a very interesting and enjoyable concept, and seeing the reactions on YouTube it seems like a very well-received inclusion. Turili/Lione Rhapsody - Zero Gravity: Rebirth and Evolution (Limited CD-Digipack) (2019) An album I had been hesitating to buy for several months but I finally got it.Not a bad buy actually, I should have expected something great from one of the original Rhapsody masterminds whose solo work was also briliant. It may be the more sci-fi aestethics on the package than had me hesitate, but much like Turilli's own Prophet of the Last Apocalypse, sci-fi elements are added to the original fantasy-oriented Symphonic Metal of Turilli/Rhapsody and it spices things up, dusting off the concept to make it fresh again but without betraying the Symphonic Metal roots that remain strong and preeminent through the piece. I mentionned earlier the couple of tracks I had heard reminded of the aforementionned Turilli solo record, and it's not only similar to it but also as good, if not even better. Frank Zappa - Orchestral Favorites: 40th Anniversary (2019 reissue) The new 3-CD edition of a Zappa album I'm very fond of. On CD 1 is a new remaster of the 1979 classic album as well as an alternate version of "Strictly Genteel" as a bonus, while CDs 2 and 3 include a nearly 2-hour long concert of the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra from 1975. Inside is also a very interesting booklet recounting the background on how the show and the album came to be, notably Zappa's interest in orchestral music from the 1970s and the fallout and disputes with Warner Bros. It also includes notes from Frank Zappa's longtime drummer Terry Bozzio (who also plays on the album, at least the concert part) and producer Joe Travers who co-produced this release with Zappa Family Trust executor and Frank's son Ahmet.
  6. Secret Executioner

    Guess the movie?

    Looks like a Shaw Bros picture. Possibly part of the Water Margin cycle ?
  7. Secret Executioner

    What are your latest DVD/Blu-ray purchases?

    Okay, where to start here ? The title is ludicrous (not sure why German releases of Asian movies keep brining up Frankenstein though, just look at the Godzilla films and you'll get my point), the monster looks like a Ro-Man with an Ultraman/Ant-Man helmet and blown-up to Heisei Godzilla (if not even bigger) proportions, there's a motor bike chase going on in one corner... Holy smoke dude, I hope it delivers.
  8. Let's see... 1/ the bad guy takes several minutes and special techniques to defeat when his henchmen are usually dumb bullies who get beaten by anyone with an above-average Fu level. 2/ people can't drink without spilling wine all over the place. Even parrots or Cookie Monster aren't that messy. 3/ why do people in training have to fight jars FULL of water or whatever ? Talk about wasting even more than in 2/ 4/ a hero can defeat a bunch of people easily but lose a one-on-one fight against a random henchman. 5/ random henchmen keep bullying people, especially waitresses. 6/ the English dubbing makes side-characters (henchmen or sidekicks) sound like they're out of a Monty Python skit. Difficult to make them threatening or sympathetic... 7/ a hero has a powerful fighting style to defeat the villain, but someone (sometimes the hero himself) has to be seriously injured if not killed during the final fight before he remembers he learned it to defeat the villain. My point 7/ actually seems like a common trope in storytelling in general - a powerful technique or object is overly used by baddies but barely used (if not discarded within moments) by good guys. On a sidenote, the animated short Mortal Kombat: The Journey begins (a supposed tie-in to the 1995 movie) adressed the bizarre way henchmen attack the hero in movies by having Johnny Cage note that in his movies baddies never sneak up behind his back.
  9. 1/ Yes, loved it. 2/ Title doesn't ring a bell, but if it's an Alexander Lo movie where he fights Ninjas I may have seen it. 3/ Of course, one of my first MA films. 4/ I have it on DVD but I don't think I've watched it 5/ Yup, a nice one. Then again, Hwang Jang Lee movies are usually awesome. 6/ Nope 7/ Yes, and I was highly disappointed - the Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris fight is great but the movie is overall fairly poor. 8/ If it's a documentary that suddenly becomes a vehicle introducing various clones (notably Bruce Li as a Kato-like character and Dragon Lee IIRC), yes. 9/ No 10/ Yup, another nice one with awesome one-liners. 5 to 7 or 8 out of 10. Decent score I guess.
  10. Batman vs Penguin... What a great fight !! Although since the movie will likely have a grittier approach showcasing Batman's skills and resourcefulness, so here's something that will probably come across as more appropriate.
  11. So pretty much Saw IX: Jigsaw II ? Next up should be Saw X, which is the title they should go with IMO - could be a neat throwback to Jason X.
  12. Seems the designer of that logo got confused and thought he was crafting something Power Metal-related.
  13. Secret Executioner

    Happy 2020

    @HyperDrive Well, that could explain why the 2019 MLB season saw a lot of record breaking numbers... The players are actually robots.
  14. Secret Executioner

    What are we LISTENING to lately?

    Browsed through my vinyl and CD collections to dig out all the albums released in a year in "0" - ie: 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. I only got issues with compilations but decided to pick two kinds of those: 1) the ones released in a "0" year - eg. AC/DC's Iron Man 2 (from 2010) or Status Quo's The Singles Collection 1969-1973 (from 2000) - that do not necessarly contain only stuff from a year in "0". 2) less frequent but still existing, the ones containing material from a year in "0" like the 2 Originals of The Mothers of Invention album (released in 1975, but it contains two albums from 1970). My first picks in this specific group of "zeroes" were Helloween - Unarmed - Best of 25th Anniversary (CD + DVD special edition) A compilation/re-recordings album including accoustic and/or orchestral versions of classic material (mainly from the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums and 1994-200) from the German Power Metal icons. It seems it was released in late 2009 in some places, but the date on my copy is 2010 so I stick with that. It's a very interesting concept, with some songs barely changing ("Perfect Gentleman" seems nearly identical to the original, "Forever and One (Neverland)" also barely changes) while others become a whole different thing ("Eagle fly free" goes from ultra fast metal to a melodic, atmospheric number with female vocals, "I want out" feels like an attempt at mimicking Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II"). A staple here is a 17-minute long medley called "The Keeper's Trilogy" performed with the Prague Symphony Orchestra that includes parts of "Halloween", "Keeper of the Seven Keys" and "The King for 1,000 Years". The orchestral instruments and choir add to the epicness and intensity of the songs, and they flow into each other seamlessly. The band seemed to have mixed feelings on this, bass guitarist Markus Grosskopf finding the experience more interesting for the fans (instead of plain re-recordings or yet another compilation) and enjoying recording as he got to try different playing styles, while singer Andi Deris felt betrayed and that if they were to play accoustic versions, they could have done it from the start - he was very against the idea and didn't enjoy the experience. He did admit it gave him a chance to show his vocal skills as his voice became more preemient and a more central instrument than on the previous albums where it was burried in the mix. Nightwish - Wishmastour 2000 (CD) A limited edition 6-track EP from the band's 2000 tour promoting their 3rd album, Wishmaster. The EP feels a lot like an extended single release for "Wishmaster" (I mean the song that's the titletrack of the album) with the accompagnying tracks being edits (promo version of "Passion and the Opera"), outtakes ("Sleepwalker", "A Return to the Sea") or relatively rare bonus tracks ("Nightquest", "Once upon a Troubadour"). Between various compilations and releases of the band's past albums that would cover most (if not all) of the material on here, this one comes across as more of a collector's item than something interesting purely for its content. The material is still very good, the bonustracks being on par with the material from the first two albums - "Once upon a Troubadour" is a rather slow but catchy accoustic number with male vocals while "A Return to the Sea" is more piano-driven but still very melodic and melancholic with very emotion-loaded vocals by Tarja Turunen, "Nightquest" is a faster paced and keyboard-heavy number with very classical-sounding vocals (something that can be said of a good portion of Oceanborn TBH). The edit of Oceanborn's "Passion and the Opera" is a bit odd as it seems to essentially loop the portion with opera-esque singing - I enjoy this part, but I feel it coming a bit out of nowhere is more interesting and enjoyable than basing a whole track on it.
  15. Secret Executioner

    Happy 2020

    I think Mission to Mars was set in 2021, and a manned landing on Mars still has chances to happen. @HyperDrive and @Silver and Gold Dragon Gotta love those cheap post-apocalypse-set Italian flicks. BTW, was the Bronx okay in 1990 ?
  16. Secret Executioner

    Warner Brothers - Matrix Cinematic Universe

    As a reminder, there's both a sequel to the original trilogy and an extended universe in the works. Sorta like what they are doing with Star Wars and episodes 7/8/9 and the likes of Rogue One and Solo
  17. Secret Executioner

    Warner Brothers - Matrix Cinematic Universe

    I could see her as a younger version of the original trilogy's female lead. Are we going for a prequel on Neo's companions ?
  18. @AlbertV I wonder if the box-office revenues will decide which franchise will get a fifth episode... Or maybe they won't care and both will, seeing John Wick looks bound to keep going and Matrix is to get an EU.
  19. re Watchmen: does it follow (at least partly) the background we get from the original graphic novel ? I recall the main plot was interlaced with a lot of background elements on the original team and how superheroes became a thing in this universe. Or is it a more creative story loosely based on the property ? re Glass: I believe it was an attempt by M. Night at making an extended universe using the characters from Unbreakable and Split and putting them together IIRC. I find the idea interesting, but rather clichee nowadays (Samuel L. Jackson pits Bruce Willis and the guy from Split against each other and they work like Luthor/Supes/Batman in Daw of Justice, right ?) when next to every movie is part of a big franchise, if not a whole universe covering countless different titles.
  20. Let me guess... It has at least one scene where we see Asia Argento naked ? Cause it seems to be the only reason Dario Argento is making movies nowadays - show off his daughter's butt. Otherwise, they're really poor (his recent Dracula film with the giant mantis was ridiculous...) The trailer sounded interesting but I didn't see this one in the end. I'm a bit surprised, the movie came across as a rather fun venture - the departure from the main series' car show feel in favor of something that looked like an action comedy with The Rock and Jason Statham having to team up against a common foe seemed promising. I was puzzled when I saw some trailers as the villain seemed superpowered, thanks for confirming this bizarre element (for such a series that I don't recall including anything supernatural).
  21. Secret Executioner

    Happy 2020

    With people already becoming lazier and stupider, all that's missing is apes being trained and used as slaves before an eventual uprising and them taking over. (referencing the book here, I don't recall this from the movies - at least not the original 5 from the late 1960s/1970s).
  22. Secret Executioner

    Happy 2020

    I don't feel the first one is that much of a sci-fi film. More like an action/revenge flick. I feel your point applies quite well to Mad Max II (AKA The Road Warrior) however.
  23. Secret Executioner

    Happy 2020

    @Rodolphe Dux James Cagney gets top billing over Humphrey Bogart ?! That's something I hadn't expected to see. Yup, we're already entering the third decade of this 21st Century and I feel science-fiction has lied to us... Well, except maybe 1984. The media is clearly overly present with people being watched and brain-washed while those who don't think like they should are deemed enemies and repressed. On this grim note, happy holidays and see ya in 2020.
  24. Secret Executioner

    What are we LISTENING to lately?

    Finishing 2019 by revisiting some of its releases. I bought only 12 of them, the majority by bands I didn't know of before while the rest is from artists I knew of in some capacity from either past releases (Avantasia, Queensrÿche, Whitesnake), a previous different incarnation (Rhapsody of Fire) or for work with other artists (Kane Roberts for his late 1980s tenure in Alice Cooper's band). Avantasia - Moonglow (Limited Edition Digibook CD) Tobias Sammet's band again delivers the goods on this concept album that centers around mystical and spiritual stuff. According to the book, the album is subtitled "the Narratives of a misplaced Entity" and the songs' lyrics are accompanied by very atmospheric illustrations that have a strange feel - they look like old paintings and depict houses or landscapes that make me think of 19th Century Britain for some reason. Musically, it's some Power Metal you'd expect from a European band - epic songs with memorable choruses and riffs, slower, more melodic and/or atmospheric numbers and longer, more progressive and instrument driven pieces. Also the album contains a cover of Michael Sembello's "Maniac" from the movie Flashdance - kind of a bizarre conclusion even if it's awesome. As usual, you get very talented guest performers whose talents are put to great use - this time around, we get vocals from Jorn's Jorn Lande, former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske, former Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate and Candice Night from Blackmore's Night (and Mrs. Ritchie Blackmore). Speaking of, Jorn and Geoff Tate (with Sweet Oblivion) had albums of their own this year, but I haven't checked them out. I do remember not being very keen on what I heard from Sweet Oblivion. Crazy Lixx - Forever Wild (CD) A fairly new band but the music and aestethics feel straight out of the 1980s. Very catchy songs, a couple of ballads and you get a solid record that reminded me of bands such as King Kobra, Foreigner, late 1980s Aerosmith and more. If I was to compare them with another band that comes across as a resurfaced 1980s outtake (don't take this as a mean remark), I'd say they are much more consistent than Enforcer whose Zenith is very hit-and-miss in the end and doesn't seem to stand up very well after a few listens - the first couple of songs are awesome, but then you get some good numbers mixed in with a lot of filler. Goes with the 1980s thing I guess, it seems bands were often trying to make their albums longer to fill CDs and threw in tracks that were very poor. Thinking of Kiss' Hot in the Shade notably. Tora Tora - Bastards of Beale (CD) Another retro sounding band, but more on the classic rock side of things. I discovered them by hearing the excellent "Giants fall" on a radio station and I thought it was Greta Van Fleet due to the very Led Zeppelin-esque riff. But unlike GVF who is often labelled a LZ copycat (they aren't as bad as bands like Kingdom Come in that department IMO), TT have their own identity and the result is some catchy, enjoyable numbers. I don't think there are many 2019 albums I'd have bought out of those I picked (still hesitating on the Turilli/Lione Rhapsody album and on Overkill's The Wings of War, I have zero interest in the Within Temptation album, I wasn't sold on Children of Bodom's Hexed in spite of the praise, and there's a lot of obscure stuff that could be interesting like Entrails' Rise of the Reaper or Exumer's Hostile Defiance but good luck finding those), 12 new releases is actually quite a big amount for me compared to previous years - I bought something like half a dozen new releases in 2018 and barely a couple a year over the rest of the decade. I tend to buy many more older albums than new ones. Off the top of my head I got a couple of Alice Cooper CD compilations, some Blue Oyster Cult CDs, a couple of Status Quo CDs, nearly a dozen Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention albums (including at least one on vinyl), a few Kiss CD bootlegs (and the 2-CD release of Psycho Circus with a bonus live CD from 1999), a Yes CD package with 5 albums from the late 1970s/1980s...
  25. Secret Executioner

    What are we LISTENING to lately?

    Been listening to a lot of Status Quo and Judas Priest lately. I recently also listened to: The Damned Things - High Crimes (CD) The supergroup The Damned Things (notably featuring Anthrax's Scott Ian) returned in 2019 with an album that I overall find hit and miss and that I'd put towards the bottom of my list of 2019 albums. The style is alternative rock, with a very 1990s vibe. Some of the songs are really catchy and enjoyable ("Cells", "Storm Charmer", "Let me be (your girl)", but there's about half of them that are really not that great. That said, the video for "Something good" is probably the best music video of the year - some very trippy (and NSFW) cartoon short that somehow goes very well with the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITyQz9zvFn4 The Mothers of Invention - 2 Originals of The Mothers of Invention (LP) A 2-disc compilation featuring the 1970 albums Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels ripped my Flesh. The two albums are kind of siblings, being similar in the fact they essentially contain older Mothers material while they greatly differ in the musical direction they go. BWS is more melodic and classical music-oriented while WRMF has a more Free Jazz approach, with lots of loud and cacophonic moments, but both include some more basic songs like "WPLJ" or "Valarie" that have a doo-wop orientation and a sung version of "Oh No" (a piece whose instrumental rendition was part of Zappa's 1968 Lumpy Gravy album). Weasels also includes the classic "My Guitar wants to kill your Mama" that often finds its way on compilations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw_-uQRfm8U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8nRpGHUzFc The global orientation is also kind of preeminent in some of the titles, with BWS containing tracks called "Igor's Boogie" in reference to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky while WRMF has a track called "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue", a nod to Free Jazz musician (and one of Zappa's inspirations) Eric Dolphy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s8ZGyuJtRE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZDgfY-GMvA Overall, two very good albums that complement each other in terms of how diversified the Mothers' repertoire could be and how versatile the musicians could be. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention - Transparency (LP) A 1970s compilation showcasing material from four Mothers' early albums (Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, We're only in it for the Money and Cruising with Ruben and the Jets) as well as an excerpt (including the aforementionned 'Oh No" instrumental) from Zappa's first solo album Lumpy Gravy. The album also features the then-rare tracks "Why doncha do me right" and "Big Leg Emma", two excellent tracks that have since become widely available as bonus tracks on the Absolutely Free CD release. Even if it's never been anything new to me, this compilation is a very good record but one could argue it's unbalanced betweeen the albums a good chunk of it is parts from We're only in it for the Money (actually you get almost all of this album, which I find nice because I only have the poorly remixed 1986 CD release that has Lumpy Gravy added at the end), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya53GY8vYgU there's a good part of Side 2 from Absolutely Free, the Lumpy Gravy excerpt feels a bit weird and out of nowhere (even though it is rather good representation of what the album is like with bizarre random dialogue, heavily doctored musical segments and some very nice instrumental parts) the last couple of tracks remaining are two cuts off Cruising (the awesome "Cheap Thrills" that somehow lacks that great bass line heard on the CD version and on the Cheap Thrills compilation and the very good "Later that Night") and "Wowie Zowie", the only Freak Out! number. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlbz1IB4-lU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVtRypTupws