Saturday, December 13, 2014
I guess most fashion models seek acting careers, but there are some (Sky Ferreira, Kemp Muhl, Cat Power come to mind) who have succesfully started off careers as songwriters and musicians. Carmen Maria Hillestad changed her name to Carmen Villain and produced an amazingly great album, Sleeper - and I hope there's more to come. The music is dreamy, dark, ethereal and challenging - I first heard her on the avantgarde music magazine The Wire's Tapper CD (a regular free CD with samples from new musicans, composers and bands). Allmusic.com describes her music as "an eclectic array of influences ranging from Sun City Girls and Sonic Youth to Broadcast and This Heat."
Friday, December 12, 2014
Univers Zero are an instrumental progressive rock Belgian band formed in 1974 by drummer Daniel Denis that have endured to this day. Often compared to King Crimson their music has been rather more extreme, very dark and complex and often sounded more like classical chamber music. For a time, Univers Zero were part of a musical movement called Rock in Opposition (RIO) which strove to create dense challenging music, a direct contrast to the disco and punk music being produced in the late 1970s.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
A CIA agent tired of his incompetent colleagues retires and dares them to stop him from publishing an embarrassing book of memoirs.
Entertaining, but quite harmless spy comedy.
On second view: still mildly entertaining, but nowadays nobody can laugh about the CIA.
Halliwell*: "Genial but patchy spy comedy caper; a filler for all concerned."
Maltin***: "Entertaining contrivance...Barely believable, but fun to watch, thanks largely to Matthau."
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Theaudience - If You Can't Do It When You're Young von rollaman96
Theaudience were a Britpop band in the 90s which released only one album, but three singles managed to get some minor chart success in the UK. I assume hardly anyone remembers them, but one of them had much more success as a solo artist: their singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor! I especially loved this song, and I've been a fan of Sophie ever since.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.
Above-standard melodrama concerning substance abuse, the cast is excellent, the movie, however, is a bit overlong.
Maltin***: "Compelling character portrait by writer John Gatins gives Washington a role he can sink his teeth into and a fine supporting cast to back him up. Longish but worthwhile. Director Zemeckis, who staged a hair-raising plane crash in CAST AWAY, does it again here."
A secret Ops agent is sent to Detroit to take out an arms dealer and the head of the hedge fund that is financing him, but his CIA backup has other plans and turns on him and it's a fight to survive in a hospital.
Standard thriller fair, all well-done in all departments, but not really anything new about it, either.
Set during the Ice Age, a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and a wooly mammoth find a lost human infant, and they try to return him to his tribe.
Entertaining and heart-warming animated movie; the evolutionary details, however, are a bit dubious.
Halliwell*: "Well-animated dinosaur of a story with some welcome moments of slapstick in the tradition of Chuck Jones."
Maltin***: "Funny, imaginative computer-animated feature that's sort of a prehistoric THREE GODFATHERS....Distinctively designed, with humor geared for young and old alike. Leguizamo's vocal performance as Sid is a riot."