The Spyglass Chronicles: 7/25/16

Posted: July 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Culture, Music, Spyglass Chronicles, TV | No Comments »

chronThe eagle-eyed returnees among you have probably noticed a change in the title of this periodic endeavor to “The Spyglass Chronicles.”  Upon which discovery, you are surely wondering, given the branding image I’ve been using of a pathfinder in buckskin, looking through a spyglass, why hasn’t it been called that all along? To which the answer is, “Duh, I dunno.”

Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of.” Omar — Williams shall forever and always be Omar from “The Wire” to me — is back. As Freddy, the guy at Rikers with the private cell up in the corner at the end of the block. He shtups the women guards, takes care of the guys in uni on the outside, thereby currying favors and ruling the roost. In Episode 3, he offers to protect Naz from the others inside who want to take him down. Looks like the kid is going to need it.

“She’s About A Mover” Sir Douglas Quintet. When the British Invasion hit in the early 60s, the gang from Merrie Ol’ left the redcoats at home and took over pop culture with terrible swift sword. Dominated Top 40, News, Weather & Sports Radio. Even cotton candy music by such as Freddy & the Dreamers and Herman’s Hermits charted. The invaders dominated dress thanks to Carnaby Street. Because of Twiggy, anorexic became the new look.

All some needed to become a deejay radio star was an accent. Happened in Louisville with a guy named Ken Douglas, an English fellow, even though he really didn’t know much about music. He’d had been selling clothes at a local haberdashery, when somebody with a WKLO connection heard his accent. Read the rest of this entry »


Film Review Podcast: “De Palma”

Posted: July 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

deindexMovie director Brian De Palma is a contemporary of Spielberg and Scorcese and Coppola.

While some of his films are noteworthy and have garnered a certain lasting degree of popularity, the director is rarely spoken of with the reverence afforded his compatriots.

But he has a lot too say about films, especially his, and his process.

And it’s on display in this intriguing documentary, when he takes the viewer through his career.

If you crave insight into the world of cinema, this is one to check out.

For further discussion, listen up:

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Film Review Podcast: “The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry”

Posted: July 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

wbindexCorrected. In my original post, I idiotically misspelled Wendell Berry’s last name. Apologies to all.

Attempting to cinematically portray the good works of someone as beloved and admired as Wendell Berry is fraught with peril.

In lesser hands than those of director Laura Dunn, co-director Jef Sewell and cinematographer Lee Daniel, such an endeavor could easily have become hagiography.

Not to worry, they have crafted a lovely, evocative and slyly provocative look at one of the most beloved Kentuckians of contemporary times.

It is the opening night feature of the Flyover Film Festival, to be shown Sunday, July 24 at 5:30 in the Bomhard Theater of the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

A panel discussion with the director and producers will follow.

It is film well worth seeing. Here’s why:

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Film Review Podcast: “Ghostbusters”

Posted: July 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

ghostindexForget all that negativitude, foisted on the movie going public by a cranky group of fan boy nabobs, who consider themselves movie critics.

The new “Ghostbusters” is a worthy addition to this iconic franchise of cinematic silliness.

The new distaff crew rids NYC of its spectral presence, providing suitable laughter along the way.

Kate McKinnon is especially zany with her Dennis Hopper-eyed performance as the tinkerer of the group.

For further edification, listen up:

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The Snapshot Chronicles: 7/18/16

Posted: July 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Culture, Ruminations, Snapshot Chronicles | 2 Comments »

chron“The Night Of” HBO. Good guy, son of immigrants, hooks up with mysterious beauty, gets laid, wakes up in the middle of the night at her place to discover she’s been slashed to death.

This exemplary, nuanced, intense crime drama mini series proves yet again what we’ve know for a long, long time: HBO on Sunday nights is Must See TV.

Duke’s vs. Hellman’s? Where do you stand on the critical question of which mayonnaise is the best?

It was a Facebook colloquy last week, among a group of intelligent, critical thinking adults. All of us apparently so tired of contemplating the state of our country in turmoil, our attention was thus diverted.

Having just bought my first jar of Duke’s ever, I have switched my allegiance, such as it was, to that lesser known brand. Eggier. Tastier. Providing a new resonance to that summer classic, the heirloom tomato BLT.

“All Down The Line” Rolling Stones. Anybody who’s seen the self-caricature that is the Stones in, say, the last couple decades, and has marveled how the once greatest rock & roll band ever still has it, needs to listen to this: Read the rest of this entry »


Film Review Podcast: “The Infiltrator”

Posted: July 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

infilindexTalk about your late in a career “overnight” sensation, allow me to mention Brian Cranston.

Now a sixtysomething, riding the crest of popularity for his role as HS teacher gone gonzo in “Breaking Bad,” Cranston has eight film projects currently in the works. Yes, eight, count ’em if you choose.

His latest to hit the big screen is “The Infiltrator,” in which he plays a real life undercover narc, who infiltrated Pablo Escobar’s cartel.

Is it worth seeing?

That’s why I’m here, kids.

Listen up and find out.

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Film Review Podcast: “Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Posted: July 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

mdindexThe title lays out the plot.

Brothers Mike and Dave, who have messed up every previous family affair, are ordered by their parents to bring a couple of nice girls to the wedding of their sister in Hawaii. Under the assumption, it will calm them down.

They’re played by a couple of gals, who can outparty the bros, and end up along for the frolic in the middle of the Pacific.

Imagine what happens?

You know, the girls and the boys going off, i.e. mayhem.

Is this raunchy summer fare featuring Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron and Adam Devine worth any of your time, even if you’re simply looking for stupid release?

Well, yeah. Here’s why:

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The Snapshot Chronicles: 7/12/16

Posted: July 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Music, Ruminations, Snapshot Chronicles | 1 Comment »

chron

Another Mule (Triangle Park). Kim’s back in town. So he and Monk and Barry and Don and Nick and Michael, whose jokes are corny as ever, but a smidge less blue, got it together for another reunion gig we’ve never expected.

The boys practiced and it showed, kicking it in from the first note. The tuneage rang as true as the perfectly delightful summer night.

Two hours of familiar faces, reminders of forgotten moments from back in the day, and old folks boogie.

We’d a stayed all night if they’d a let us.

Send in the lawyers, guns and money/ the shit’s still hittin’ the fan.

“Hurt” Timi Yuro. The car’s been sitting on a black asphalt parking lot for several hours in the middle of sunny, hot in the 90s day. I forgot to crack the windows open.

The V Dub’s interior is hot at Blue Dog’s baking ovens.

I crank the AC to 11. Just then, Ms. Timi comes on the box, with so much chilling ache in her voice, the Fahrenheit drops immediately. An ache so shivering, her singing gives up. She’s suffering so, her voice quivers, she halting says to her lover with a cracking in her throat, “much more than you’ll ever know/ Yes, Darlin’, I’m so hurt. Read the rest of this entry »


Film Review Podcast: “Our Kind of Traitor”

Posted: July 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

traiindexWhen it comes to international intrigue, you know, spy vs. spy stuff, the intertwining of some combination of the Mafia, KGB, CIA, transnational banking, secret codes and/or double mcguffins, mysterious femme fatales (Sometimes, but not as much as in the Bond flicks), nobody does it better than John le Carré.

“A Most Wanted Man.”

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

“The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.”

His latest to hit the silver screen is “Our Kind of Traitor.”

Where does it stand in the pantheon of le Carré’s work?

I thought you’d never ask. Listen up and find out:

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The Snapshot Chronicles: 7/05/16

Posted: July 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Ruminations, Snapshot Chronicles | No Comments »

chron“If You Ask Me” Libby Gelman Waxner. Those of you who have been coming here for awhile know that I’m an aficionado of cinema, and podcast my film reviews, forty or so already this year. Given that stature as a card carrying film critic, I’m often asked, “c d, who is your favorite film critic?”

The simple answer is Libby Gelman-Waxner, whose reviews for Premier magazine, may it rest in peace, set the gold standard. Also an assistant buyer in juniors activewear, daughter of the very wise Sondra Krell-Gelman, married to Josh Waxner D.D.S., an orthodontist on the upper east side, many of whose patients are the children of lawyers of famous people, with two lovely children and a dearest friend, Stacy Schiff, “a gifted marketing analyst still unattached,” she set a standard in the 80s and 90s that not only surpassed Pauline Kael, but became an exemplar no critic has come close to matching since.

Here’s just one example of Gelman-Waxner’s incisive and knowing film criticism: “I must confess: I know I’m not supposed to, but I enjoy the Rambo pictures, and for a simple reason — I like to watch people getting blown to bits. It’s silly, but when Sylvester Stallone hangs a hand grenade around someone’s neck and pull the pin out, I always think, Why can’t Sly do that to my dry cleaner, who always loses a button or a matching belt? In Rambo III, Sly is fighting the Russians in Afghanistan, but in my mind, he’s taking on my husband’s entire family. Josh, my husband, says his mother has allergies, and that’s why she spit out my lemon quiches — Sly, get the flamethrower, and while you’re at it, use the crossbow with the detonating arrows on Cousin Leslie, with the adorable two-year old who chews my slipcovers.” Read the rest of this entry »


Film Review Podcast: “Swiss Army Man”

Posted: July 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

swissindexWhatever shall become of the career of Daniel Radcliffe, after he’s made 27 different Harry Potter movies, we, or at least some of us, have wondered?

Well, not much.

But his turn in this very odd film, as a flatulent corpse who eventually talks and thinks, might change all that.

It’s a stunning bit of acting really. His bromantic co-star Paul Dano, whom I usually don’t like very much given the dour countenance he brings to all his roles, actually is more palatable than usual here, as a suicidal guy who rediscovers life.

But this flick is wack, out of the box, nothing like you’ve seen before. Quirky to say the very least.

Listen here for more data, then you can decided if you want to give this bit of magic realism a try?

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Film Review Podcast: “The Neon Demon”

Posted: June 30th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

neonindexI knew this movie was going to be vapid, and overly stylized, set in the world of LA modeling.

But, since I’ll own that there are worse ways for me to spend a couple hours that looking at gorgeous young women in four inch heels, vamping about, I couldn’t wait to see the movie.

Which was vapid and stylized, and generally without a plot or purpose.

Such that I walked out early. Enough can be enough.

Notwithstanding such negativitude, my review is boffo, and compulsory listening.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

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