5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished
- Multiple Viewing Possibilities
Ex-Gladiator (South Africa) and world karate champ Ravi Moodley's Tae-Bo styled fitness series include a range of exercise levels from an Instructional DVD, to one laying down the Basics and then the Advanced disc. A forth disc incorporates the exercise techniques and newly built strength and agility in a Personal Protection DVD. The latter can be combined in conjunction with the energetic workouts, powering up your body and empowering yourself to avoid becoming a victim. A highly effective and practical tool for a country like ours where you want to look and feel good, and not be a victim.
5 / A
KAISER CHIEFS - Enjoyment
Released before their Brit Awards triumph, this group (cut from the Franz Ferdinand cloth) seemed to come from out of nowhere with their cocky (but accomplished) pop-rock sense. Smugly arrated by the great Bill Nighy this unconventional documentary movie (with a solid slice of humour) is set up like an old-school info piece, with the various visited locations getting old stock footage with the bullshit voice-over to set the scene. There are also fake interviews with the band - as kids, currently and in the future as old men. The music videos and live footage included on the DVD cover Oh My God, Every Day I Love You Less And Less, I Predict A Riot, and Modern Way. Live footage was recorded at the Cockpit in Leeds (UK) and The Fillmore, San Francisco (USA). The Glastonbury- and V2005 festivals also get coverage. A fun movie that moves beyond the obvious format and conceited self-importance, as it introduces a new band on the verge of making it real big.
4 / B
KAREN ZOID - In Die Staatsteater
Shot for the kykNET series of prominent Afrikaans artists live on stage, Karen Zoid's is one of the better ones. Others have included Valiant Swart and Anton Goosen. It seems a bit like that MTV Unplugged mood was gunned for and succeeds to a certain extent, the only jarring elements being the audience who don't seem to know how to react in parts and what role they play, and the editing that could've been slicker. The DVD opens with the limo ride to the venue. Karen and her band then gives the crowd 16 live songs ranging from Ons Soek Rock & Roll, Yuppie Scum, Katriena and Oh My Love to Suburbs, Afrikaners Is Plesierig, Danville Diva, Engel and Vleesbaai. A bonus video of her first big hit Afrikaners Is Plesierig is included as well as text pages about the series.
4 / B
KEANE - Strangers
This Coldplay / Travis style pop-rock trio from the UK with a strong piano emphasis create some really great songs. The double disc includes a two-part documentary plus live performances and music videos. It documents their peak with band member interviews and footage on the road across NY, Chicago, London, Glasgow, and Birmingham. There are comments on songs, and making of videos. The DVD has a cool menu function with additional material accessible as you're watching. Live songs include: Sunshine, Somewhere Only We Know (+ video), Can't Stop Now, She Has No Time, Your Eyes Open, This Is The Last Time (+ video & making of), Allemande, Snowed Under, Bedshaped (+ video & making of), We Might As Well Be Strangers (+ acoustic version), Bend And Break, On A Day Like Today, Everybody's Changing (+ UK & US video versions), Hamburg Song, To The End Of The Earth (& backstage at the Brixton Academy). You can also browse through the Photo Gallery and view the concert visuals. A talented band easily set apart from the mediocre acts forced onto the public.
5 / B
KEEPING THE FAITH
With Jenna Elfman, Ben Stiller, Edward Norton, Eli Wallach, Anne Bancroft
Directed by Edward Norton
The stunning Elfman plays a childhood friend of Stiller and Norton who returns after they were separated while barely teenagers. She’s a successful businesswoman who comes to NY on business, hooking up with her old pals - who are now respectively a priest and rabbi! Needles to say, both fall head over heels in love with her and the comedy angle takes a bit of a serious turn when they clash. Cute, funny and not a bad directorial debut for Norton - just one thing he should keep an eye on the running time because it’s way too long for the type of film this is - the cinema-ass-ants start to bite.
3 / C
KEITH URBAN - Livin' Right Now
One of the better-looking country singers out there at the moment, this Aussie muso can actually play guitar real well, actually walking the walk. The almost 20 live songs performed here at the Wiltern Theatre in LA (to a mostly female audience) include his songs These Are The Days, You Won, Days Go By, Blacktop, Grace Of God, You'll Think Of Me, She's Gotta Be, Somebody Like You, Tonight I Wanna Cry and covers like Jeans On and (Tom Petty's) Free Fallin'. You also get three soundcheck tunes (You're Not Alone Tonight, Don't Shut Me Out, Homespun Love), a Photo Gallery, extra soundcheck footage, a bonus audio track: Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy). There's also info on Keith's on-line community, Monkeyville. Directed by Jim Gable.
3 / B
With James Ransone, Tiffany Limos, Stephen Jasso, James Bullard, Amanda Plummer
Directed by Larry Cark & Edward Lachman
Clark, who brought us such vivid looks at American youth in decay with Kids and Bully may well tread the same mud over and over, but if he doesn't, who will? After all, parents would hate to think that their teens get up to these kind of extremes. Touted as a groundbreaking shocker, Ken Park was written by Clark's Kids collaborator Harmony Korine. The realistic sexuality and extremely explicit nudity will certainly shock anyone who hasn't been in such a situation or never seen a porno. Erections and ejaculation will shock viewers not prepared for it. Where his other films usually focus on the kids with relative parental absence, here there is a direct relationship - and don't expect a stable one. In this particular group of friends one boy has a sexual relationship with his girlfriend's mom. Another's dad is a macho beer guzzler who despises his sensitive son. Another particularly twisted boy lives with his caring grand parents, but his disrespectful extremes lead to a mind-blowing conclusion. The only girl of the bunch's father is an ultra religious nut who carries the death of his wife like a load of bricks. Then there is the character from who the film gets its title. A daring piece of cinema with some very convincing performances by these young unknowns
5 / B
KERRANG! - The DVD
With the legendary UK weekly rock magazine branching into the TV realm (on the SKY network, I believe), there is a refuge for those who feel they've been cheated by MTV (not giving enough attention to their extreme rock tastes), and VH1's Friday Rocks (being too repetitive). This DVD includes uncut videos to twenty of the most requested songs. It kicks off with the inimitable Liam Lynch and his low budget smash, United States Of Whatever. Slipknot drummer Joey and his horror-freak band Murderdolls follow with gusto (not to forget his main band also getting a vivid clip towards the latter part of the disc). Ex-Black Metallers Satyricon punches in with a groovy riff (that unfortunately goes off on a lame tangent) - but the nudity, python and blood may be enough for some fans. Marilyn Manson's classic, The Beautiful People is one of the highlights. The high-school-skate-suburb-boy-punk-bands like Blink-182, Sum 41, New Found Glory and Bowling For Soup are obviously a part of the game. Bloodhound Gang's hit, The Bad Touch gets featured, as does Cradle Of Filth. Wheatus, The Hives, Stereophonics, Spineshank and Incubus as well. Odd man out is Eminem & D12 - (there 'aint no guitars in there, man!) - but hey, it's most requested, so deal with it. Some of the less impressive acts are INME, Alkaline Trio and Elviss. Extra features include a look at the Kerrang! Awards, backstage and on (with Garbage and Hundred Reasons live clips), many a rock star chatting about this & that (from Bruce Dickinson and Casey Chaos to Dave Grohl). Expect some rowdy drunken behaviour as well, particularly from raging Speedhorn. The picture gallery is pretty much non-existent (the film probably getting exposed in a booze haze). This is quite amazing, as I remember the fortune my brother and I forked over in Ragtime Records (Cape Town) in the mid-late '80s for the very first Kerrang! Video Kompilation featuring Iron Maiden, Warrior and Motörhead - and here I am, watching the new generation of rockers on the first Kerrang! DVD, almost 20 years later!
5 / A
KEVIN & PERRY GO LARGE
With Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke, Rhys Ifans
Directed by Ed Bye
Enfield & Burke’s TV characters hit the big screen with, well, a big bang. Basically a British Beavis & Butthead, our two heroes are total idiots who want to be DJs. Being virgins, they also have getting shagged on their priority list. The best place for this is Ibiza, the summer holiday capitol of Europe (if you’re a Rave nut - all the biggest DJs making their appearance). After a long mission Kevin’s parents decide they can go - but not alone. On arrival they meet a superstar DJ who uses their admiration to get his dirty work done. They want him to hear their DJ mix, but he keeps postponing. They also meet two girls (whose “beauty” preparation scene is an absolute scream - gross as hell, but a side-splitter). Gross, lavatorial, childish and silly humour abound - and what an enjoyable experience it is.
4 / A
KICKING & SCREAMING
With Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Kate Walsh, Mike Ditka
Directed by Jesse Dylan
Nutter Ferrell plays Phil, a chill guy whose competitive sports-mad dad Buck (Duvall) never saw his son as much of a man. When he and his wife has a boy, so does his dad with his new young wife (making his dad's baby his uncle). Several years later Phil's boy's soccer team loses their coach, and our hapless sportless dad steps up. Slowly he becomes fanatical, intent on beating the opposing winning team coached by his dad. He becomes a coffee addict and gets pointers from American football coach hero Mike Ditka (who is also Buck's rival neighbour). They end up recruiting two Italian kids with crazy soccer skills to further stick it to Buck as the team starts kicking ass. While this is a kid's movie in essence, adults will enjoy Ferrell's classic moronity, although it's not in overdrive. Entertainment of the lightest kind. Music is by prestigious composer Mark Isham.
Extra material includes Soccer Camp, a Making Of Featurette, Deleted- and Alternate Scenes, Bloopers and a look at the casting of the Italian soccer kids.
3 / C
With Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin, Emily Mortimer, Lilly Tomlin
Directed by Jon Turtletaub
Seeing Willis’s smirking king size mug on the poster is enough to make me groan and refuse to watch this Disney offering. What a pleasant surprise. Brucey plays a stuck up image consultant who has a very odd experience. He’s heading for a significant time in his life (crossing into a new age bracket) and he is generally not a happy person. What turns it all around is the appearance of a young kid. The kid is in fact him at age 8! Together they must try and get him back to his time, find the purpose of it all and sort his present life out. It’s well executed, the young kid very good, Willis’s cute assistant (and possible love interest), well, cute (and British). Tomlin’s screen time is limited, but each appearance is wonderful. The journey the two take and the ultimate transitional realization takes a fun (and sometimes sad) route as we start to see the humanity inside the grumpy old fart…
4 / B
KILL BILL Vol. 1
With Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
He of the crescent mooned face, caffeine fuelled speech and cinematically passionate soul returns with a vengeance - literally.
With several years passing since Tarantino's third feature Jackie Brown, fans can be glad to know that this two-part extravaganza of retribution and dark humour will be hard pressed to disappoint. The impetus for the story came from Umo and Quentin..Thurman plays the angel of death to members of her old assassination squad who double-crossed her after her retirement from the business, wiping out her entire wedding reception (including her unborn child). But, the bride awakens from her coma years later with one thing on her mind - getting even. One by one her ex-team members get picked off in spectacular and creatively violent ways. To a lesser extent than Pulp Fiction, he toys with the conventions of linear narrative structure, jumping around the various main scenes of Thurman's exacting revenge. Tarantino pays homage to a range of his favourite genres, especially those from the East (also including a slice of vicious Japanese Anime). Merciless but bitingly humourous at the same time, Kill Bill Vol.1 has that Tarantino flavour, but not as dialogue intensive as before. It's a blast, making it the most assertive chick-flick in years. Lacking the focused minimalist intensity of Reservoir Dogs and the dialogue rich splendour of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol.1 does contain his streak, but on a larger scale with a visually broad canvas of great shots adding up to great scenes, whether it is the composition, action construction, narrative style or moody tone - the musical choice again an integral part. Kill Bill Vol.1 is brutal fun.
5 / A
KILL BILL Vol. 2
With Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryll Hannah, Michael Madsen
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
With part one setting up the whole scenario, the second installment continues the bride's rampage of vengeance, leading to the showdown suggested in the title. The first film had more of a fantasy element, flying in all sorts of entertaining directions. Here the focus is on our heroine getting closer to reaching her goal. The music is not as varied and the action selective, yet still vigorous. Many scenes are protracted, reflecting Tarantino's love of Sergio Leone and Mario Bava flicks. He also knows he has free reign and the luxury to get his rocks off with this one. On its own, Vol.2 is not as satisfying as the first, but the ideal way to watch it is both in one go (with an intermission of course!).
4 / B
KIM POSSIBLE: A Stitch In Time
Amid all the big budget animated movies (traditional and digital), you've got to have your cheaper fillers to act as buffers between the blockbusters. This Disney offering is a TV quality one-hour flick about our heroine Kim, a schoolgirl and cheerleader hopeful who just happens to be the leader of a high tech super secret commando squad out to save the world from evil. With time travel, action, adventure and your general high school problems, this could be a fun inbetweener for the kids till the next big flick.
2 / C
With Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, Stellan Skarsgard, Til Schweiger
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Loosely based on the historic characters from which the legend of King Arthur and his round table knights sprouted, Fuqua constructs an exciting, often gritty adventure of honour, loyalty and courage. Apparently the Romans went around their conquered territories, claiming all the healthy sons to fight for them. The tale is spun around a final mission Arthur and his knights have to fulfill in order to gain their liberty. Obviously this will come at a price. With ruthless Vikings advancing on the British Isles, Arthur and his half-dozen strong gang including Lancelot and Galahad have to collect a Roman emissary and his family in the path of the advancing army. Whilst loyal to the Romans, admiring their advances, Arthur comes to realize their corruption and oppression. Guinevere is portrayed as a warrior from a native rebel tribe opposing the Romans, handy with a bow & arrow and joins the group, leading up to the final battle. Well-paced, and save for a few lame one-liners, King Arthur is an agreeable Jerry Bruckheimer production, but a far cry from John Boorman's incredible Excalibur. true fans can seek out the Director's Cut.
4 / B
With LL Cool J, Whoopie Goldberg, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Loretta Devine
DiIrected by Doug McHenry
Sweet little film about a family coming together after the feisty dad finally passed away. Each family member (be it wife, sister, sons, in-laws) comes to the wake & burial with their own individual personalities and problems, some funnier than others. But the mostly cliché portrayal in an African-American sense, maintains the polarization of their people by preserving the blinker-view the ignorant world has of Southern Black churchgoing folk. And if this well-worn depiction is the way it is, then there shouldn't be much complaint then, I guess… I just know that as a White South African male I don't particularly like to be aligned with a caricature view of a khaki wearing, over weight and bearded racist - 'cause it couldn't be more opposite. That doesn't mean these people don't exist, as does Black Southern churchgoin' folk for that matter. At least in this case they deal with clashing ideas and views like the religious sister whose son smokes, drinks and doesn't have much faith (their car radio Church Broadcast & Hip-Hop station flick scene quite a laugh). With a drama queen wannabe singer wife and a diarrhea inflicted preacher thrown in for a bit of toilet humour, Kingdom Come succeeds on one level as a small town inter-family politics bitter-sweet comedy, while its major weakness is the above mentioned stereotypical (yet endearing) way in which it portrays African Americans.
3 / B
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
With Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson
Directed by Ridley Scott
Since Lord Of The Rings it seems hard to get a sword out of Orlando Bloom's hand. In this religiously driven historically based Crusade tale he plays the role of Balian, a Frenchman whose life is torn to shreds in two ways. His wife is refused a Christian burial because she committed suicide, and his long lost father, a high ranking Crusader arrives to invite him along on his journey to the Middle East. At first he refuses, but when he kills a man out of rage, he goes on the run and joins up with his father, the law on their tail. They head for Jerusalem, where headstrong and logical leaders uphold the peace between Muslim and Christian. But men with a lust for power are adamant to break this peace and lay waste with a bloody war. All of the emotional levels get utilized while neither one of the religious factions get demonized as such, rather individuals without conscience, filled with greed, giving this epic some opportunity for mass carnage. Balian gets to learn who he is and realizes the essence of man from both its good and evil sides as he has to muster his courage and decides what is the right thing to do. This part of the world has always been a contentious religious piece of land, and the question remains whether it will ever see peace.
4 / B
With Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Andy Serkis
Directed by Peter Jackson
The classic original 1933 King Kong and its very '70s remake had to rely on innovative animation, photographic and make-up effects to bring the giant ape to life. It was inevitable that another version in our digital age would see the light. And it took the man who made the Lord Of The Rings trilogy to do it. An ambitious and ruthless film director of the silent movie era cons his cast and crew into traveling to an uncharted island to shoot his latest epic. What they find is a pre-historic, primitive and vicious place where oversized beasts rule. The tribe living separate from the dangerous forest kills and captures some of the Westerners who are way out of their depth, including the leading lady. She is offered to Kong, an enormous gorilla. Her traumatic snatching results in her attempting to escape, which amuses the ape and he becomes protective of her. The rest of the crew (including the romantic interest) head out to save her. Naomi Watts does a fine job previously filled by Fay Wray and Jessica Lange, but where the digital technology makes a lot possible, it also inadvertently turn others unbelievable and fake. Giant insects, dinosaurs and other predators make for one hell of a survival trip and some exciting moments. True animal lovers will hate the thought of Kong being captured and brought to New York as an exhibit spectacle, and falling to his death from the Empire State building after a rampaging escape. But the emotion of it is relayed very effectively. Sure, the message that people are beyond stupid when it comes to marvels of nature is apparent - as I write this, tigers have become an endangered specie and whaling has again been legalized… Stupid? It's beyond that. If people are capable of blowing the shit out of other random human beings in the name of religion, what the hell's an animal? Kong's physical and facial motion capture was performed by Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings.
PS. Jackson reportedly said that the original King Kong is what made him want to become a filmmaker - what a dream come true.
4 / B
With Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray
Directed by The Farelly Bros.
Hilarious, crazy comedy about a promising young ten pin bowler who loses his hand and subsequently all hopes, dreams and will to succeed. A decade after his washout he meets an Amish man with great potential. He ropes him in to appoint him as his manager to head for the big ass championship with a big ass cash prize. Loony situations and great slapstick-bad taste-sexual-&-lavatory humour from the guys who made Dumb And Bumber.
5 / B
- Extreme Close-Up With Kiss
© 2006 Flamedrop Productions