Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The new Keane album for $2.99, omfg

• Some days it's fun to be a consumer.

So I go to do my daily check at Amazon's MP3 store to see what's today's deal, and I did a spit take with my coffee upon seeing Keane's new album, Perfect Symmetry, which hit stores today, on offer for "the unbelievably low price" of $2.99!

It's the kind of release I normally would have pre-ordered, counting on Amazon to get the physical CD to my mailbox on release day or the day after. Glad I didn't go that route this time.

iTunes is playing hard for this one, as well: Apple's music store is offering the deluxe edition, which includes a bonus track, a whole album of demos and some video stuff, for $12.99. But it's saddled with DRM and lesser audio quality -- one of the big reasons iTunes is steadily losing me to Amazon.

This is the first time I've noticed a major new release offered as the MP3 deal of the day. Will we be so lucky next month when the new Killers album drops?

Giving Perfect Symmetry its first spin right now. "Spiralling" is a hot jam, and I love the geometric art design for this release.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

DVD: Shutter

• Joshua Jackson tries bad horror.

Genre: Horror, remake, J-horror
Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Run time: 1 hr 25 mins
DVD released: July 15, 2008
Cast: Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor
Verdict: &1/2

This unnecessary J-Horror knockoff (it's actually a remake of a movie from Thailand) answers the question of whether Dawson's Creek's Pacey (Joshua Jackson) can carry a horror movie. Not that there's anything particularly wrong (or right) with his acting (that goes for his role in FOX's mediocre new X-Files wannabe, Fringe, as well), but I kept expecting Dawson or Katie Holmes to come 'round the corner. With its Vengeful Female Spirit and Secrets from the Past, this movie feels as if it were made by someone whose only cinematic references are The Ring and The Grudge and all the lame imitators that followed. The Jackson character and his new wife, played in full I-want-to-be-Naomi-Watts mode by Rachel Taylor, begin to find ghostly images in their photographs — both casual snapshots and in the professional work of Jackson's character. And that could be mildly interesting, but the movie can't even nail ghostly photos in a compelling fashion. The one almost-frightening moment involves a boy gazing at a window reflection on a subway train, and the rest you'll anticipate before it even happens. Shutter is one of those tired movies that leaves you wondering why anyone bothered; it's a picture totally out of focus. // DVD NOTES // Nothing like a steaming pile of cinematic dung gussied up with a dozen self-important featurettes, is there? Everything from shooting in Japan to tips for ghost hunting is covered. Alternate and deleted scenes, including an alternate ending, and audio commentaries are also needlessly included.