The story of Ip Man – legendary Kung Fu master of China and teacher of Bruce Lee – has been a popular one in martial arts films for almost as long as there has been martial arts films. Director Kar Wai Wong (Chungking Express, 2046) isn’t exactly known for action filmmaking, so when it was announced he’d be tackling the story of Ip Man, at least some heads were scratched: would he be making a traditional kung fu film, or would he somehow find a way to bring the Kung Fu master’s life into synch with his own storytelling obsessions?
So a mockumentary about a bunch of vampires living in a sharehouse in New Zealand probably shouldn’t work. In large part why this does is because it fully commits to its premise: Viago (Taika Waititi, who co-wrote and directs) is our guide into New Zealand’s underworld, a foppish vampire from the early 19th Century who’s basically a kind of dorky nice guy … apart from all the blood drinking.
Anberlin have been around for quite a while now: since forming in 2002, they’ve put out six albums, two EPs and have toured the world multiple times. They’ve also completely flown under my radar until now, which is a damn shame as Lowborn is their seventh and final album.
Listening to Cold World, the latest release from Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, is like jumping in a time machine and heading back to the golden age of soul music. In the last six years, since the band recorded the previous album, they have played some of the biggest music festivals around.
It’s a rare film where even just mentioning the name of the short story it’s based on is a massive spoiler. But while Predestination is based on a classic science fiction short story, it’s also based on a short story that is (famously) nothing but a series of twists – and while this film version has more to offer than just that, those twists remain such a central part of the story that … let’s just say the less you know going in the better.
Hill…Top…! Hill…Top…! This will be what the entire hip hop community will be chanting for the new Hilltop Hoods album – an album, for all those who listened intently to the lyrical hints in their last album Drinking from the Sun, knew was coming. This album isn’t just new; it’s an extension of Drinking from the Sun, which only makes it even more spectacular.
Tim Hulsman grew up in a close-knit community where he learnt to play homegrown music. Rather than an introduction via 12-bar blues and Dylan his musical experience and expression was restricted to Christian tunes. Like many treading the alt-folk path, the lapsed Jehovah’s Witness turned a defiant early ear towards the dreaded world of ‘rock and/or roll’.
These days Woody Allen’s strikerate is down to around one in three. The trouble is picking which one is going to be the one worth checking out, as on the surface pretty much all Allen’s recent films sound equally likely to be a hit. Midnight in Paris, about a writer who travels back in time to the Paris of the 1920s, turned out to be a charming romp; Allen’s next film, To Rome with Love, was about various relationships in Rome, and was… not so great.
If there’s one thing Kingswood does well, it’s good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Their debut album, Microscopic Wars, is no exception. The 13-track LP takes their signature brand of fuzzy rock and takes it to next level. There’s no middle ground; from start to finish you’re hit with thudding, high energy rock.
While my musical tastes constantly shift and change, there are a few artists and genres that I find myself coming back to. I keep coming back to high-energy, distortion-fuelled rock acts, like the Foo Fighters, Airbourne and Guns N’ Roses. Strathmore definitely fit that mould, and their debut album Time Well Wasted is absolutely bursting with energy.