Film Review Podcast: “Top Five”

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

movieWell, while I was certainly expecting to be entertained as I walked into the theater to view “Top Five,” starring Chris Rock — who also wrote and directed it — along with Rosario Dawson, I had no idea it would immediately become one of my favorite movies of the year.

This is truly an extraordinary effort. I believe one of the year’s best films.

It is engaging.

It reveals truths about life and society.

And it is oh so funny and entertaining.

What a great combination of factors that is.

For more reasons why you don’t want to miss “Top Five,” listen up.

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Film Review Podcast: “Horrible Bosses 2″

Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieI know what you’re thinking.

Why on earth would I want to listen to a review of this movie? Or, even consider going to see it?

Well, cinema lovers, the movie is better than you might expect it to be. It is a supplier of some humor.

And the review below is . . . boffo.

Getting ***** on the Culture Maven Meter.

So, my best advice is, take a few moments and listen up. You’ll be glad you did.


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Film Review (“Theory of Everything”) + Shtick

Posted: December 9th, 2014 | Filed under: Ruminations | No Comments »

movieI was fascinated by this new film, which examines the marital relationship of Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Hawking.

Title: “The Theory of Everything.”

Eddie Redmayne does an amazing job of physical acting. While Felicity Jones as the Mrs. also transcends the genre.

Plus you get the update on my latest appliance woes. This time a leaky dishwasher.

The latter of which I advise, because I know you care.

My host James Bickers, as usual, provided nary a bit of succor or understanding to my plight.

Please listen:

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Film Review Podcast: “Rosewater”

Posted: December 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieJon Stewart, the wise cracking host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” a guy who got his start years ago, if memory serves, on some cockamamie piffle of an MTV show, may have a real future as a film director.

That’s my main takeaway from his better than expected debut, “Rosewater.”

It’s the fictionalized version of the true life capture of a Newsweek reporter in Iran after the 2009 presidential elections.

Gael Garcia Bernal stars.

Stewart wrote and directed the film, a stellar debut behind the camera.

For futher details, listen up.


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Film Review Podcast: “Force Majeure”

Posted: November 25th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieFilms that delve into the nuances of relationships can’t always be classified as “entertainment.” But, if done well, they can provide invigorating mature cinema.

Such is the case with the recent Swedish film, “Force Majeure.”

It examines a situation where previously disregarded fissures in a marital relationship crack open, while the husband, wife and the couple’s two kids are on vacation at a tony European ski resort.

Since this is a Scandinavian effort, there’s not the sturm und drang of, say, Mike Nichols’ cinematic adaptation of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

But it is no less fascinating to observe the scenario play out in a more subtle manner.

For more, listen up.


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Maven’s Radio Rumination: Appliance Repair, Part Trois

Posted: November 24th, 2014 | Filed under: Culture, Ruminations | No Comments »

studio As I had totally forgotten, but of which I was rudely reminded part way through my essay last Saturday morn on FPK 91.9, I have used the repairing of home appliances as a jumping off place before.

Using such always, I would interject, to make a broader statement about our culture.

Which is to say, please don’t be put off by the title, saying to yourself: “Oh that c d, he’s up to the same old shtick. Shouldn’t he try something new every once in awhile?”

So, there ya go.

I provide both an invitation to listen. As well as an apology in advance it you’re not bemused. (Though, one guy’s opinion, I believe you shall be.)

Anyhow, here it all is, for your listening pleasure.

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Film Review Podcast: “Whiplash”

Posted: November 19th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieNormally I see films before my pals, who are also movie buffs. I’m a first day, first show kind o’ guy.

But, I had to wait a couple of days before seeing highly regarded “Whiplash.” And received several texts and emails about how good it is, and that I must see it immediately.

Well, I did, and I liked the movie.

But I did not love it.

For further explanation, please listen below

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Maven’s Radio Rumination: My Favorite Things

Posted: November 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Ruminations | No Comments »

JazzFestMy ever jocular host James Bickers, always looking to mix things up, changed the theme music.

Do not be confused. Jimi’s “Purple Haze” shall return, so that once again in the future, upon hearing the opening licks, you shall have the desired Pavlovian response: It’s time for the Culture Maven.

At any rate, one can’t really complain about Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” about as iconic a jazz anthem as there is.

And, it was appropriate, since the subject of my little essay interlude was just that, my favorite things.

Plus, there’s a fable here, which you shall learn, when you listen below to the end.

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Film Review Podcast: “Laggies”

Posted: November 11th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieAs I talk about in my podcast below, last Friday’s film releases revealed a Hobson’s Choice for movie reviewers hither and yon.

Two movies starring actors that, to be fair, leave a lot to be desired for the more discriminating movie goers among you.

But, the task needed to be performed. So I chose this movie, and, to be honest, was more than pleasantly surprised by how engaging it is.

For more on “Laggies,” listen up:

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Film Review Podcast: “Before I Go To Sleep”

Posted: November 11th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieWhen it comes to acting chops these days, you can’t get much better a starring duo than Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, award winners both.

And here they are in this psychological spellbinder, about an amnesiac, Kidman, being taken care of by her hubby, Firth, and also by a doctor, Mark Strong.

The hook is that Firth isn’t aware of the course of treatment that occurs daily when he’s off to his professorial duties.


Which one of these fellows has Kidman’s best interests at heart, and which does not?

For further review of this film, listen up.

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New Words, New Concepts, Organic Language

Posted: November 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Culture, Ruminations | No Comments »

studioOkay, that’s kind of a heady header. Even I’ll admit.

What I talked about Saturday morning on FPK 91.9 was a little less foolhardy than normal.

How the contemporary world fosters new realities and new terminology.

You hear the term, “butt call,” and you know immediately what is meant without explanation.

Would you have before the advent of cellphones? Of course not, and that’s what I chatted about.

It was damn literate and full of acute observations of the passing scene, if I do say so myself. Really, I do hope you take a few moments and listen.

Listen up here:

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Film Review Podcast: “St. Vincent”

Posted: November 5th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieWe love Bill Murray, right?

He’s ours, right?

From back in the day, doing shtick on Saturday Night Live.

And through to the present, when, more often than not, he’s trying to wax dramatic, moving on from default comedic mode.

His latest is “St. Vincent.”

What do I think? Listen up:

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