6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A - Multiple Viewing Possibilities
B - Deserves Another Look
C - Once Should Suffice

With David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, Richard Roundtree, James Dixon
Directed by Larry Cohen
Far fetched but highly entertaining, New York City becomes the hunting ground or a giant flying serpent, that turns out to be an Aztec serpent god, Quetzelcoatl. With cool stop-animation and surprisingly acceptable performances, this transcends the B-movie status expected of it. As the man behind the
It's Alive series and other Moriarty starring enjoyable schlock-fests like The Stuff, Cohen has produced some interesting, while not prize-winning entertainment.
4 / B
- PB

With Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Aaliyah, Vincent Perez, Lena Olin
Directed by Michael Rymer
Neil Jordan made the best of Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire, giving blood sucking movie fans a great screen debut of Lestat (played by Tom Cruise). With this further look at Lestat and his earth bound antics, it can be seen as both a sequel and prequel. This time round Lestat fronts a hard rock band and threatens to divulge too much of his kind, taunting them to come out of the shadows and get him. His main plot is to resurrect the Queen of the Damned. Ooh, not very scary, unfortunately. The prequel bit comes in where a woman (who is part of a secret vampire investigating society) reads through Lestat's journal, running us through the tale of how the mortal man became an immortal vampire several centuries ago. Even though this is Aaliyah's final role before her untimely death, she does very little to convince as the bad-ass title character - in fact often provoking a giggle at the artificially "sexy-evil" act. The attempt to make this a dark and sexy horror thriller failed. A lot of posing and prancing sometimes makes it look as though a fashion house composed the scenes for extras and bit part players. Great sets, sure, but in many ways the soundtrack far outstrips the movie when it comes to impact. No wonder the Jordan-Cruise director-acting team failed to turn up for this gig.
2 / C
- PB

- The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
Special 10th Anniversary Edition

Could it have been a decade since this tribute show? And has
Freddie departed our dimension for even more years? This particular AIDS awareness and remembrance show with the surviving Queen members pulled in an incredible mix of high profile artists to partake in some classic Queen songs - and attracting a 72,000 strong audience to electrify the Wembley Stadium on 20 April 1992 as result. While the flamboyance and unique vocal prowess of Freddie Mercury is a hard one to match, the guests give it their personal touch as a homage (any attempts to copy Freddie being an act of futility). One of the most accomplished artists to fit into this one-off spectacular, giving it his all has to be George Michael, whose voice matches the songs so well. But with people like David Bowie (who actually does the Lord's Prayer halfway through his set), Elton John and Robert Plant, you know you're in the presence of greatness. Other artists include Roger Daltery (The Who), James Hetfield (Metallica), Liza Minelli, Seal, Lisa Stansfield, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Annie Lennox etc. While Slash is as cool as ever, the other Guns 'n Roses element of Axl Rose is both hilarious and embarrassing. The songs include classics like We Will Rock You, Under Pressure, Tie Your Mother Down, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody To Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Who Wants To Live Forever, We Are The Champions and more. While watching the show, an information icon appears at the beginning of some songs - on clicking at this point you get launched into a special portion where you can view the rehearsal of that particular song. The second disc contains an extensive TV documentary of the show as well as Freddie Inserts and a Photo Gallery. A detailed 24 page booklet rounds this off as a great historic event, albeit a bittersweet one.
6 / B
- PB

QUEEN ON FIRE - Live At The Bowl
I got excited when I saw this title, thinking it may be their show my brother and I attended at Sun City's Super Bowl during their tour with The Works. This one is a bit earlier, though, recorded at the Milton Keynes Bowl on 5 June during their Hot Space Tour of 1982. At this stage the band had been at it for a decade with a string of great albums and great songs, rising to become one of the world's biggest rock bands, the huge outdoor turnout evidence enough. They were to go for another decade, rising still, before Freddie died - and this tragedy happened ten years ago! Shot on video, the lights streak and make some of the pictures look a little plastic, but Freddie's magnetic stage presence and the band's precision is too prominent to let a technical detail like that bother a true fan. The 25-track show opens with a recording of their Flash theme track and closes with their rendition of God Save The Queen. In between you get
Queen classics like We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Another One Bites The Dust, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Play The Game, Somebody To Love and We Are The Champions. Obviously there's a Brain May guitar solo as well as tracks like Action This Day, Dragon Attack and Sheer Heart Attack. At the time of this show the band's new lighting set-up was a state of the art technological first (paled by today's advances). The second disc includes interviews backstage at the show as well as additional ones from Freddie and Brian & Roger respectively, highlighting their career at that stage, the new material, the tour, lighting etc. Additional Tour Highlight footage from Austria and Japan include another dozen or so songs with a couple not featured on the main show disc. I'm sure there is a whole bunch of shows and footage still to make its way onto DVD, this being just one of them and a fan essential.
4 / A
- PB

QUEEN + Paul Rodgers - Return Of The Champions
While there is no substitute for Freddie Mercury, Paul Rodgers perfroms acceptable renditions of some favourtie
Queen tunes with two of its original members Brian May and Roger Taylor (not too sure where bassist Roger Deacon is - retired I guess). What makes it cool is the fact that Taylor and May sing a fair share of the songs. This live show in Sheffield packs in 27 tracks, not all Queen numbers, but also a few classic covers: Wishing Well, Feel Like Makin' Love, Can't Get Enough, and All Right Now. But, you also get timeless tracks like Tie Your Mother Down, I Want To Break Free, Fat Bottomed Girls, Another One Bites The Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Love Of My Life, Hammer To Fall, I'm In Love With My Car, Last Horizon, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody with Freddie singing along from a video projection of an old live show! Amid the songs you get solo's, speeches, as well as acoustic numbers. Unfortunately there is no bonus footage like a documentary on how the show got put together or how they decided upon and selected Rodgers. But you do get an extra clip of May doing an acoustic version (with the crowd) of John Lennon's Imagine - this was at the tribute concert in Hyde Park for the London emergency services and victims after the 7 July 2005 bombings.
4 / B
- PB

QUEENSR˙CH - Operation LIVE:crime
In the Metal-Rock years of the late 80's with bands like Metallica and Guns & Roses dominating, there was one act that ventured into a conceptual realm which was quite ahead of its time and separated them from the mainstream of both commercial and more extreme Metal. Queensr˙ch's melodic and superbly crafted music was perfectly complimented by the voice of Geoff Tate. This pivotal moment in the band's history still lives on today in the fans who were touched by its scope and magnitude at the time of its release. By releasing it on DVD its full expanse, quality and timeless relevance can be experienced in digital clarity & perfection. The live show's precise co-ordination and execution with its lighting, projection and other integrated facets is as much a treat as the in depth story woven throughout this mammoth musical experience. The DVD also includes interviews with Tate on how the band started and how the Operation: Mindcrime studio project came about and evolved into a live phenomenon. The complete "LIVE:crime Story" from the original box set is also a part of this DVD whereby the entire story can be followed complete with the songs & lyrics. Two hidden bonus tracks can also be searched for, hints given on their website. Only some of the band members' fashion serves as a time capsule give-away, the music so good it doesn't belong to any period. This is one hell of a show and I was never aware of the bands subliminal popularity at the time. I also thought they'd given up long ago, but they still seem to be going strong with a dedicated following most of whom are still with them from the early days. The DVD also includes a picture gallery compiled from fan photos.
5 / A
- PB

© 2006 Flamedrop Productions