2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ***1/2 and Wanderlust (2012) **1/2

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ***1/2 Third Viewing The first time I saw 2k1:ASO, I was bored silly. The second time, I fell asleep midway through the movie. I feel like I haven’t given the movie much of a chance. I love most other Kubrick movies with Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange in my top 10 all-time favorites. So, why not 2k1:ASO? I found a high-def version and watched it on my 96″ projector screen. What a difference that made. I also split up watching it into two parts. I went in knowing the film was slow. 2k1:ASO is … Continue reading 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ***1/2 and Wanderlust (2012) **1/2

Africa Brasil (1976) **** and Don’t Go In the Woods (2011) *

Africa Brasil by Jorge Ben (1976) **** First Listen Wow, what a surprise. I recognized the first song immediately. I listened to it about a hundred times on an old Brazilian music collection put out by David Byrne. Talking Heads are probably my favorite band, so I collect everything the band has put out, plus all the solo stuff. In 1989 Bryne started a record label to highlight Brazilian pop music and the lead track on Africa Brasil and the BPM collection was this track. He even made a video for it. Ponta de Lanca Africano, that’s the name of … Continue reading Africa Brasil (1976) **** and Don’t Go In the Woods (2011) *

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) **1/2 and Chicken Skins

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)**1/2 First Viewing Long time ago, I heard an apocryphal story about a group of people dying after taking communion. They bled from the eyes, became ill and some died. Later it was “determined” they were not fully faithful and God was punishing them. I searched on the internet, but couldn’t find the story. I did find a page of happy communion tales, floating wafers, many blood-soaked wafers restoring the faith in this person or that. God sure is extremely selective. Let’s pretend the “Bad people who took communion” story is true for a sec. I always … Continue reading Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) **1/2 and Chicken Skins

Abraxas by Santana (1970) ** and Headhunter (2011) ***1/2

Abraxas by Santana (1970) ** First Full Listen I hate George Lopez. He’s not funny. He shoots for the lowest common denominator, easiest jokes. He took a kidney from his wife and then divorced her. He’s the Mexican Jay Leno. Except, he’s also appointed himself America’s Hispanic Comedic Voice. C’mon Latino’s, shoot higher. And that’s how I feel about Santana. They’re the George Lopez of music. Just because you’ve been around forever, doesn’t make you the king. Oye Como Oy Vey! I saw Santana at Saturday in the Park. Let’s be more specific, I was in the same outdoor area … Continue reading Abraxas by Santana (1970) ** and Headhunter (2011) ***1/2

200 Motels (1971) ** and Bring Me the Head of Alberto Garcia (1974) ***

200 Motels (1971 ) ** First Full Viewing In the beginning of the creative process, ‘Yes’ is good word. Say yes to as many ideas as you can. Especially if what your making isn’t heavily plot-driven, if you’re chasing an emotion or abstract idea. However, there becomes a point where the yes ideas need to have import in the art, the ‘yesses’ should have meaning—-to theme or to emotion or to plot or to pace. Has Frank Zappa ever had idea he didn’t pursue or throw in there? Just for fun? Because no one, Zappa included, ever said whoa there, … Continue reading 200 Motels (1971) ** and Bring Me the Head of Alberto Garcia (1974) ***

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) *** and A Cheap, Comic Life

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) *** Second Viewing Remember J-horror? Before those sparkly vampires? While most horror trends succumb to their own clichés, the best of the Asian horror boom of the early 2000’s still works. There’s a randomness and inevitability to the horror. Dread. A Tale of Two Sisters doesn’t rely of the wandering, pale, black-haired, disjointed female ghosts cliché of other J-pop horror efforts. At it’s heart, it’s a drama about divorce and loss between two sisters. The best horror films are usually dramas where the fear and rotten emotions of conflict are rendered into horrifying flesh. … Continue reading A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) *** and A Cheap, Comic Life

Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969) ****1/2 and Keyhole (2011) ***

Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969) **** 1/2 Own This was the first Beatle‘s record I ever bought. I was maybe, 10 or 11, and had this old orange suitcase style record player. At the time, my favorite songs were the Ringo songs, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopuses Garden. They had plot and were funny. Was Steve Martin in some kind of video for Maxwell’s Silver Hammer? Bang bang. Songs for an unproduced musical? Now, I’ve heard all The Beatle‘s records probably as much as you—offer not valid for Chris Topher and other Beatlemaniacs—so, the songs are more subconscious at … Continue reading Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969) ****1/2 and Keyhole (2011) ***

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) *** and An Open Letter to Drug Dealers

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) *** From Memory, Saw Many Times I’m pretty sure I saw this one in the theater, summer of ’84. I might have even been on a date. I always say when I see stuff in a theater, somehow my feeble brain thinks this gives the review more credibility. Scrabbling for credibility, another weak grasp in a series of poor autobiography titles. More than I remember the date, I do remember the buzz before the movie came out in my high school crowd. It wasn’t the Porky’s buzz of a few years earlier, but everyone … Continue reading A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) *** and An Open Letter to Drug Dealers

1001 Records You Must Hear Before You Die

I’ve decided to ditch the Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums. (C’mon, Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot at only #495!) Instead I like the randomization aspect of an alphabetical-by-album-title list like 1001 Records You Must Hear Before You Die. Plus, I start with Abbey Road! Sorry, Outkast. Next Up: 200 Motels (1971), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The 400 Blows (1959), or #500. Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969). Continue reading 1001 Records You Must Hear Before You Die

2 or 3 Things I know About Her (1967) * 1/2 and Mad Men

Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) *1/2 First Viewing A Warning! This review will be fragmented and abstract and not necessarily speak much to the film. This last season of Mad Men was mostly on my mind during the viewing of this classic French film by New Wave Director Jean Luc Goddard. I’m putting my deconstruction disclaimer up front, like Goddard. Released in 1967, I imagine Megan made Don to see the film on the advice of one of her actress friends. Megan wants to be an artiste, you see, but lacks the self-reflection needed to create … Continue reading 2 or 3 Things I know About Her (1967) * 1/2 and Mad Men