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.


Audio MP3

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.

Audio MP3

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

Audio MP3

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.

Audio MP3

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:

Audio MP3

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.

Audio MP3

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:

Audio MP3

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:

Audio MP3

Film Review Podcast: “Nightcrawler”

Posted: November 5th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 1 Comment »

movieFilms about sociopaths have their own little niche, right?

DeNiro as Max Cady in “Cape Fear.” And, well, DeNiro in a bunch of other roles too. Jaaaack Nicholson has more than a few such roles on his resumé. So too Al Pacino.

There are, of course, others.

But, one guy’s opinion: Jake Gyllenhall’s Lou Bloom in “Nightcrawler” stands with the best of such portrayals. Subtle, complex, disarming. Great acting.

For further discussion of this movie worth seeing, listen up:

Audio MP3

Paying My Respects: Allman Brothers Band

Posted: November 3rd, 2014 | Filed under: Music, Ruminations | 2 Comments »

studioThe Allman Brothers Band played its final concert ever last Tuesday at the Beacon Theater in NY.

They been my favorites, since I first heard them at the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Ga. on July 4th weekend, 1970.

I had never heard music that touched me to the core of my soul before, nor have I since. (Okay, Van Morrison, Otis Redding and Carlos Santana — on occasion — come close.)

I’ve often wondered what my life would have been like, if I didn’t have this band’s music to soothe the savage beast, hen he roared inside?

On Saturday morning, during my interlude with James on FPK 91.9, I paid my respects.

Audio MP3

My New Favorite Band

Posted: October 28th, 2014 | Filed under: Music, Ruminations | No Comments »

studioSaturday morning’s FPK 91.9 radio interlude was fascinating. And not only fpr James and myself.

I got a chance to reveal a new endeavor of mine in the health care field.

Plus talk about my favorite new band, Birds of Chicago.

They opened for the Carolina Chocolate Drops last week during a two night stand at the Clifton Center.

The Film Babe and I were blown away.

Listen up for further details.

Audio MP3

* * * * *

Because of some silly FCC regs, my producer Brad Yost couldn’t include the whole song there at the end. So here’s a video of another Birds of Chicago tune to whet your appetite.

Film Review Podcast: “Dear White People”

Posted: October 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieRare is a directorial debut, a first film, as well crafted as Justin Simien’s “Dear White People.”

That it is satire of the highest order, an entertaining, hilarious, even handed skewering of racial politics in America, makes the movie all that more impressive. He doesn’t take sides. Everybody’s a target here.

It has won awards at several film festivals.

Deservedly so.

For a more in depth analysis of “Dear White People,” listen up.

Audio MP3