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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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:

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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.

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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.

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* * * * *

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.

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Film Review Podcast: “The Two Faces of January”

Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

moviePatricia Highsmith was a novelist with a penchant for penning cinematic-worthy books.

“Strangers on a Train.” “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

“The Two Faces of January,” featuring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac, is the latest of her output to hit the silver screen.

Intrigue in Greece and Turkey in the early 60s. The set up and setting are typically marvelous Highsmith traits.

Does the movie work?

For a full review, listen up.

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Film Review Podcast: “Kill The Messenger”

Posted: October 13th, 2014 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

movieI consider myself a reasonably intelligent person.

One disinclined to venture far from the norm, not normally that paranoid.

Except when it comes to certain matters.

The new film, “Kill The Messenger,” featuring an award worthy performance by Jeremy Renner as real life journalist Gary Webb, did however kick in some conspiracy beliefs I’ve had for decades.

To learn all about that, and this intriguing film, listen up.

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