Posts tagged with "review"
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:58:43 PM
In case you've been living under a rock, or don't think that your life needs a soundtrack...
Dendrite Bazaar reviews and rants on enthusiastic emperors of doom and disenchantment, and today
we're turning our proverbial nozzles on one Jerry Cantrell, guitarist extraordinaire of Alice in
Chains. I'm sure he has his own fan-page: but that's not going to stop the Trailwriter from exposing
the beauty of his six-string dischordant riffs and rhythms. What bit this guy? Does he have a secret
story of a life with snakes and reptiles? I don't. Or at least, I don't think I do. But enuf about me.
Jerry Cantrell built a living on agony.
Without saying exactly what it was crawling up his backside, he whines and noodles about (lost love?)
and generally substitutes barre chords for the blues. We need this. Dischordance is taken to new
levels with minor-major shifts and cascading riffs galore. (Note: cascading riffs have been done to death)
New paragraph. Has anyone seen Angel Eyes? Four years and still I dream. Haven't seen a face like that
in a long time. The best art makes one wonder how it was done. I can't play any of these songs on my
lonely six, hence, my hats off salute. That's what's so great about the web: It spawns obscurity.
Jerry's not going to find a large audience on the 'radio.' Tuff. He knows it. It's art! Alice?
I heard they're still making music but I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. Hat's off to new form!
Would you dare label this sound as Rock-n-roll? If so, the B. Haley has a lot to answer for...http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/newreleases/release.aspx?releaseID=60
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 12:23:08 PM
The subtle line between friendship and romance is tantalizingly erased in this
2008 raunchy comedy. I call it raunchy because most of the (1 hr. 41 min) movie
is about porno. The language is rough and the subject matter sometimes harsh!
At one point, the duo are shacked up in their platonic apartment with a bum-can
of fire in between them. "We could make a porno to raise the rent!" Zak muses.
She's fine with it eventually. And that's when the comedy starts rollin'
She soon discovers that she's more into Zak than she had previously believed.
There's a subtle reference to Capra's It's A Wonderful Life when the movie
cast appear at the door with a bag of money: That is, they paid the electric bill!
There's a lot to like in the dissection and description of relationships and
human sexual activity. Protagonist Zack (Seth Rogen) is foul-mouthed and raw.
That's OK: It's necessary and I suppose fits in with the plot-line. I walked
away wondering just what porno was doing in Life. Zak and Miri make a porno, ***
Thursday, January 28, 2010 2:05:51 PM
I laid down a $20 bill and came home with four (4) movies worth mentioning.
Eagle vs Shark $6
I Love Your Work $6
and Adventureland $6
Each was decidedly low-budget, produced in the 00's with an accent on youth-culture.
"Eagle vs Shark" comes to us via N. Zealand where they drive on the right-side of the
road. It's a romance of sorts with the tagline: Luckily, love is blind. It's a film
by Taika Waititi. He likes a girl, she runs away and you-can guess the rest. Fascinating
cultural piece from another hemisphere. (They do things differently there. )
"Flakes" is the unbridled tale of capitalism gone amuck in a new century which features
a mythical business: A CEREAL BAR. I say mythical 'cuz most of this tale could only
happen in the movies. Guest star: Christopher Loyd (Taxi's Latka) is notable.
"I Love Your Work" unfortunately skipped uncontrollably; I'm on my way back to the video
store for a return. Note: Giovanni Ribisi needs no stagename. Always fun to see.
and finally "Adventureland" from the director of Superbad chronicles the exploits and
pitfalls of an amusement park with lots of romance. Music by the Replacements among
others, tho' they get no credit. Two songs: Bastards of Young and Satisfied off of
LET IT BE. It's funny to me, that the protagonist of the tale：Jessie Eisenberg at
times resembles lead singer Paul Westerberg. He has a Light-bulb personality and is
a thinker. Just a thought. The movie is scary-realistic to me (I worked in a burger-joint
like this) Jesse's dreams kinda come true after a bunch of baloney and he winds up
in NYC, just to spoil something for you. This would be a good Netflick recommendation.
Monday, January 18, 2010 4:38:14 PM
(full disclosure:Bassist Stu is an amigo)
Frank Rogers - Guitar and Vox
Stu Constantine - Bass
Pete Christopherson - Drums
Sal Salta - Guitar
Anthony Masi - Sax
We used to call him Taco. He played an Uzi: A black fender with a couple of stickers and a few mods. Now he's the bassist of a Really good cover band. Saturday night, they raged through about twenty-five major hits from the 70's and 80's. Without fear.
Including a memorable tune off of Emotional Rescue. What is it about the Stones that makes women dance? Dunno. Maybe the organ!
The lead-singer recently had his appendix out. Yet he still managed to kick-out-the jam.
The keys? You ask. A genius with two boards.
The sax was an elder gent who definitely wasnot playing his first gig! He looked like a musician. And there was the drummer and Stu: emoting soul
through a four-string instrument of revelation.
Ice skating is an ancient tradition (apparently) and I highly recommend it for chasing the January Blues. As another friend R. says:
It's the cure for what ills you. As were the
Head Rattlers on a cold cold winter night
in smalltown Old Greenwich, CT. The best nights out are often the coldest, the snowiest, the hardest to get out and going. It's the humidity I propose. That which nobody controls and is simultaneously everywhere...
Picture used without permissions
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:11:37 PM
There's a new Bond. His name is Liam Neeson.
Remember the Constant Gardner? Where Neeson tracks down his wife's killers? Similar theme. Only this time, his
daughter gets sold into a prostitution ring. And Liam is angry about that. Very angry. Angry enough to go to
Paris and separate the men from the boys. Or rather, the badmen from their lives with bullets. Fortunately,
the bullets and guns don't go overboard until the second half of the film. The first half is punching and clawing.
Vengeance seems to be a popular theme among movies of the '00s. See Avatar. Go get em! Taken **** Try it!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:43:42 PM
If you haven't already, go pick up A Cure For Gravity a book by musician Joe Jackson.
It's a twisted tale of one musician's Love affair with Music. The son of twisted parents,
Joe claims that music saved his life, and I don't doubt it. I've been listening to Joe
caroon about unfaithful lovers, skateboard salesmen and jilted men wearing suits since
about 1982; and Joe's seen it all -- the perfect foil for adsolescence: a role model!?
Rain is both a CD and a DVD: You get them both. Here are the songs on the CD:
1. Invisible Man
2. Too Tough
3. Citizen Sane
4. Wasted Time
5. The Uptown Train
6. King Pleasure Time
7. Sold (so low)
8. Rush across the road
9. Good Bad Boy
10. A place in the Rain
Sound familiar? It shouldn't. They're all new as of 2008. But the song titles seem familiar to you? Joe Jacksonish?
I agree. He's got a system for naming songs. Joe's on keyboards on the DVD, bowing between songs.
Joe Jackson, Rain **** too short!
Friday, May 8, 2009 2:28:53 AM
This a plot summary.
This is an evaluation of the narrative.
This is an example of a masterful mind-messing masterpiece of a mathematical thriller, the first in a
genre. Include in the genre: Proof and Good Will Hunting. Lots of equations on chalkboards and
wonderment music. Seriously, though Ron provides us with an 'interrupted' narrative that leaves the
viewer wondering just what we're supposed to believe. A well crafted tale of Boy-meets (math) world
and loses his shit. When things fall apart for J. Nash, they really fall apart unwinding just what you
thought was real. His descent into Schizophrenia
is filled with people moving in the background and plenty of: This-could-only-happen-in-a-movie!
J.Nash contribution to Mathematics is illustrated in 90+minutes of serious filmmaking. Look for Russel
Crowe as the torchered Nash scribbling on his Princeton dormitory windows in a white grease pencil.
Unfortunately his descent into mathematical madness robs him of any masculine dignity and his wife's
role as housekeeper is underlined adequately. Huh? She rocks. As his wife -- you'll recognize her.
A Beautiful Mind **** Starring Russel Crowe Look for Ron as an extra in the beginning of the film!
Saturday, April 11, 2009 10:40:03 PM
Two Boots in Bridgeport, CT is an excellent venue for pizza and bands.
I saw the Crustaceans perform -- a garage band with Surf roots!
The guitarist claimed to have had a mid-life crisis before picking up his 6.
And I believed him. Steady notes and solid chords but a tad shaky...
There's more Surf to come tonight.
(Saturday) Two boots has a solid celebrity pizza menu and plenty of beers to choose from.
Saddle up in a booth or enjoy a table by the stage. Two Boots, Bridgeport, CT ****
Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:56:33 PM
Do you have the urge to go really fast? In a car? On a rally track?
I do. Every week, I pop in this disc and pretend I'm some sort of car driver!
I work the pedal. I work the steering wheel. I drive. Fast. You can choose your
car and you can choose your track. There's even a rearview mirror so you can
see other cars. Now I know there's a newer version of this game that's much
faster so look it up: 4 or 5 or somesuch. The Drive of your life. GT3 ****
Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:31:00 PM
I was drifting through the Bargain bin at the local video store when I came across this gem for less than five dollars.
"Spin the wheel" I thought as I dug it out and blew the dust off it and dragged it to the counter. Now six months ago,
I might not have had the patience for a casual game like this. But then, I hadn't read: What can we learn from vg's?
The book's thesis is that little kids are learning ALOT from games. Especially about learning and I'm beginning to see
what tha author is talking about. In JN, you play a grammar school science whiz who has to solve some intricate problems and dilemmas.
Now, my school didn't look like this, but one gets the right idea immediately. The graphics are 3D and anything but subtle.
JN has teachers and objects to interact with. I've just started the gameplay so I'll return to JN when I progress a tad...
Jimmy Neutron for PS2 *** Jet Fusion, THQ recommended for little kids mostly.
Friday, April 10, 2009 9:20:32 PM
What is it about M.Groenig's animation process that enables him to cross generational tastes?
Appealing to both kids and adults must be challenging!
Both the Simpsons and Futurama are essentially kiddy shows for adults! This latest animation has all of the usual Futurama references and mindset. Not much is left to the imagination, it is animation afterall.
Though feature length and a tad long at 1:30, I must admit I was ready to quit after an hour of this.
I will not attempt a plot summary except to say that you'll never look at Dungeons and Dragons the same way again.
Mixing CG and traditional animation to a tee, Groening has hit a highnote in 21st century liquid pictures.
The strength of animation lies in the ability to do transformations. People become dragons and rocks become rivers. Look for a lot of sorcery here with kids becoming all sorts of animals.
What is the message of Futurama?
What should one reasonably expect to take away from Futurama?
OR is it all just harmless fun?
I propose that all art has something to say or it wouldn't be art, right?
Dungeons and Dragons was a great idea for a game. Imagination and cunning, not to mention problem-solving were all required to overcome challenges.
It enabled kids to grow their imaginations without watching a TV... Perhaps D&D deserves a second look.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 2:36:08 PM
If you think you're toiling in obscurity, you probably are
or so goes the old saw. Have you heard of Camper Van Beethoven? Leader D. Lowry (Cracker) continues to pump out
the high-Q no-name musika. I mean that as a compliment. I
believe the guy's great! Violins, harmonicas and banjos
round out this simply awesome DVD. There's some real obscure
tunes here culled from what is apparently the ramifications
of his Camper band. He's always unassuming and unpresumptuous, which a generation like my own can love.
Also included are the popular gems which probably will make
you say: I've heard this before!
Girl, you're a beautiful animal
I've got some funny ideas about what sounds good.
Take the skinheads bowling
What the world needs now is a new kind of tension
Cuz the old one just bores me to death
Look for the porch jam session that reminds me of many a night
of my own TOILING IN OBSCURITY on a porch (great plains).
Again, huge fan of a huge disc. An undiscovered gem of a disq
Monday, July 7, 2008 12:49:17 PM
Dunlops at GAC
I'm a big D. Dunlop fan, I must admit. His blend of nearly verbal poetic interpretation of pictures combined with his optic mastery of landscape Wow me. But, I'm easily wowed. Having said THAT --
David is showing recent work with his son at the Greenwich Arts Center gallery, Greenwich, CT in July 2008.
His son, Max is an excellent urban landscape painter. Meaning, he likes to portray the gritty and the grimy side of city life. Railroad tracks, wet rainy avenues and flooding boulevards are his strong point. I'm going to go out on a limb and say: He's a gritty painter, in fact, his oils (on tin) actually have the street splash still attached to the material's surface. Yikes ! Reality. Look for stunning railroad tracks and truly-lit-from-heaven commuters here.
David is known more for his nature landscapes. Here, I can't recall whether he sticks to his guns and paints those because --
About halfway through the show, I started to get confused as to which were David's and which were Max's paintings. This is understandable, as some of the pieces were worked on collaboratively. I can just see David explaining why to use a certain brush as his younger (~22 I'm guessing) son furtively renders the grit.
I should also plug David's solo show on CPTV: Landscapes through Time. Look for it! He is a fortunate art speaker!
Final comment written in the book: "It's just like that.".
Thursday, April 17, 2008 12:37:05 PM
Carl Sagan was a curious fellow.
I should know. I've read just about all I can find by and about him. Including the unauthorized bio.
These are some facts about Carl Sagan:
He did not believe in a creator.
He died young of a rare disease.
He was base d at Cornell in Ithaca, NY
He smoked marijuana.
He had hoped to find life on other planets.
He authored numerous texts including Cosmos and Comet.
He was raised in Brooklyn, NY
His life partner was Ann Druyan
Of all of these facts, probably the most startling is that he never believed in a God.
All of the science, the exploration and discovery. All the wonderment and beauty and he still couldn't accept that the Universe had a single creator! So what?
Well, this fact is handled well in Carl's movie project: Contact. Wherein, humans make contact with extra-terrestial life and make a voyage to visit it. Jodi Foster plays the upstart idealist
who does the heavy lifting. Her romantic nemesis is M. McConaughy - the religious scholar, a man of faith. They do the obvious jousting and jostling and the movie is refreshingly devoid of TOO-MUCH-SKIN. A lot of really juicy tidbits of Science, belief and tech are brought to life.
It's not just a picture for nerds however. James Woods is an awesome authoritative technocrat. A realist. Clashing ideologies make for revealing truths!
I picked it up USED for $1 and recommend revisiting this 1997 showpiece of the future.
If nothing else, for the shot of Palmer Joss holding the compass in the palm of his hand!
Or: The opening sequence of Earth pulled back with radio transmissions from the 50's to the present day. Highly effective people were busy on this one. Isn't it amazing what people you never see do in your life? Who thanks these stagehands? How did they get there?
Incidentally, does anyone see the root word in Compassion? You see passion? I see compass.
Watch it with an open mind...you'll see Jody in a wormhole. It's not as big as the hole in Carl's life, however, as the theme of the film seems to be about what you fill that hole with
The life of Carl Sagan included many people. Including Rob Lowe apparently. e
Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:03:57 AM
Boy, I thought I loved games!
James Coburn stars in his own movie about a movie.
Enough with the plot summaries, suffice it to say that in the 1970's - the whodunnit was reinvented and released as Last of Shiela. If you love games or mysteries, then this movie is for you. It broke the bank.
Death of Charlton Heston -> Discovery of Joan Hacket (in Will Penny) -> Last of Shiela
We were having a Joan Hackett film festival in our house following the death of C. Heston.
Incidentally, does anyone know how to make a puzzle? Take anything complex and remove a piece and present it to someone else. Puzzle!
As the film wore on, I was struck by the moviemaking. It's top-notch. In fact, it's such a movie within a movie that one is left wondering if all the shipmate s are going to die.
It might be interesting to follow the short but sweet career of one Joan Hacket. Actors lives reveal a lot about the roles they play (and vice versa). She was good for her time.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Hackett http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_of_Sheila-
Friday, April 11, 2008 4:39:36 PM
Screen, stage and canvas.
Which of these three art forms do you consider IFFY for being considered a Fine Art?
For me, it's screen. There is so much shlock out there as film and Hollywood continues to generate cheese. Amazaing considering the stringen t requirements of film. A movie needs --
a steady script
and no shortage of cash, time and patience. Not to mention the editing(!)
In the end, one hopes to raise a few questions if you're an artist. Or to r aise some cash if you're a capitalist. Nowhere does the possibility of generating a Wow! experience enter the equation.
With this mindset, I was pleasantly surprised by recent UCONN grad Michael P. O'Toole's entry to the biz with his take on 'Traps' by F. Durrenmatt. The drama considers the plight of a travelling salesman (1960's America) who happens upon a retired judge's home when his car breaks down.
The judge and his two retired cronies apparently spend their evenings filling the shoes of their for m e r working lives. That is, they hold court at the dinner table. I won't reveal any more of the story except to say that the film requires a facil knowledge of courtroom procedure and protocol. This is not Barbershop kids. It's high drama!
After the fi lm was over, Mr. O'Toole hosted an impromptu Q&A wherein, he likened the play (movie) to some WWII era conflict which I found fascinating. It included reference to Martin Luthur's anti-Sematism. Heavy.
As a critic, I have a laundry list of criteria I use t o determine a film's quality. Does the film put the viewer in the shoes of the protagonist? Are we able to feel the salesman's responses to the sometimes elegant interrogation? I'd say, Yes we do. He confesses to be enjoying is evening and I thought to myse lf, hmmm...I'm enjoying at as well.
Summarizing, look out for Michael O'Toole's future films. He's ambitious and intelligent and it shows in his craft. Amazing first effort.
Note: In the performance I attended there were some pretty serious sound issues, alas.
Thursday, April 10, 2008 8:16:40 PM
I don't profess to know whether Tone knows he's making rap for suburban (white) guys in N. England, but I for one, love this disc! It took six listenings to catch...but it did catch. And I'm hooked. I do know Tone is considered mild compared to what comes out of L.A. and I tend to grow weary of listening to his conquests, But darn: Tone kicks!
Of course, he's best known for his grainy Wild Thing and F.C.Medina, but this musician has a certain depth to what he does. Granted, a lot of tunes speak of Tone 'grabbing the microphone --' but once you get past the Freudian phallic obsessions, you'll find your feet shuffling and your fingers snapping.
Cool Hand Loc