Italian horror in high definition, true crime with a hepcat rhythm, and a short story that became a novelette are just a handful of the things that defined my June 2015 - read on for the rest...
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Game of Thrones: Season 5 - things started off a touch on the 'slow build up' side of things (relatively), but the last three episodes really blew the doors off (particularly the massive ruck in episode 8). The finale was rather bleak, mind - a Red Wedding style kick in the gut - but when it comes to Game of Thrones, I feel that the finales are really more setups for the next season. In many ways the ninth episode is the traditional climax (look at seasons 1 through 3, particularly), and the tenth is more about laying out a series of cliffhanger teases to hook us in for the next season - something they do very well indeed! This all said, some criticisms about certain plots are valid - under-written characters, meandering paces, that kind of thing. Over all it was good - hell, it's Game of Thrones - but the show runners need to be vigilant to maintain the quality we're so accustomed to.
Silicon Valley: Season 2 - for a comedy show there's a surprising amount of drama throughout. What's more, each episode is cleverly crafted to propel the story forward, answer last week's cliffhanger, and then pose another cliffhanger right at the end to make you damned eager to see the next instalment. The second season built upon the strengths of the first, upped the stakes, and has shown itself to be one of the best shows on the telly box.
Futurama: Season 7
Man Down: Series 2
Suspiria (Blu-Ray) - it's been a long while since I last saw Dario Argento's most iconic film, so it was good to give it another spin, and this time in HD. The Nouveaux Pictures release is pretty good, although there are some shots that do feel a bit over-exposed - but for the majority the film looks great. Extras wise it's a bit sparse - a handful of rather dry and academic interviews. There's information to be had, but they're not what you'd call enthralling.
The Beyond (Blu-Ray) - Arrow's steelbook Blu-Ray release of the middle film in Lucio Fulci's 'Gates of Hell' trilogy. Looks fantastic and backed up with a nice compliment of extras. Not keen on the paper slip glued to the package, though - and, nit-picking hat on, I'd like for them to list the extras in a more 'eye friendly' style instead of a big block of text.
Inherent Vice (Blu-Ray) - review HERE.
Tusk (DVD) - review HERE.
Alice Cooper "Killer", "School's Out", "Lace and Whiskey", "Muscle of Love", "Billion Dollar Babies", "Welcome To My Nightmare", "From The Inside", "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell"
White Zombie "Star Slammer", "Unearthed EP"
Carpenter Brut "Paradise Warfare"
Green Day "Uno", "Dos", "Tre"
Rob Zombie "Spookshow International Live", "Zombie Live"
Daft Punk "Tron Legacy" Soundtrack
VIBES & FLAVOURS:
Chuck Palahniuk "Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread" - a collection of short stories (and a novella) from the Fight Club author, including a story that's a sort of related prequel to said novel. Particular highlights for me included: "Knock-Knock", "Zombies", "Red Sultan's Big Boy" and "Inclinations" (the aforementined novella).
"How Mr Snuffles III and Others Met Their Maker" - a new writing project that's morphed from a short story into a novelette. More info on it HERE.
James Ellroy & Glynn Martin "LAPD '53" - true crime photos from the archives of the Los Angeles Police Department accompanied by the staccato hepcat stylings of James Ellroy. A dark but grooving glimpse at the underside of fifties L.A.