FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #3: Kiss Me Kate [1953]

“You louse!” I’m a sucker for multi-layered films depicting simultaneous stories at once, juxtaposing onstage performances with the backstage antics of the actors involved. Kiss Me Kate, screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and music by Cole Porter, shows the theatrical opening inter-workings of a stage musical, by the same name, styled on William Shakespeare’s The Taming […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #2: Show Boat [1936]

“Just one big happy family” Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, the James Whale directed and Oscar Hammerstein II scripted Show Boat concerns the show-biz family of Magnolia Hawks and how her life is forever changed once a sheltered childhood makes way for international success. Ushered in by a nicely animated credit sequence of cardboard dancers […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #1: The Jazz Singer [1927]

“A jazz singer—singing to his God” Mirroring the actual life of star Al Jolson, playwright Samson Raphaelson wrote The Jazz Singer about a young Jewish performer who was cast out of his own home for choosing jazz over the traditional synagogue hymns taught to him by his Cantor father. Gone for years to try his […]

REVIEW: Shall We Dance [1937]

“The first time I’m in love, I’m in love with you” They just don’t make movies like this anymore and there definitely isn’t a comparable screen duo working today. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers collaborated on an astounding ten films together; most described jokingly by my friends as having the same plot and being mere […]

REVIEW: Ra Ra Riot’s The Orchard [2010]

“Enjoying the expansive views of the countryside Mennonite community” Tuesday, August 24, 2010 marks the drop date for Ra Ra Riot’s sophomore release The Orchard. Accompanying Special Edition copies of the disc, available at Barsuk Records, is a making of documentary short by directors Taryn Gould and Emily Kowalczyk. Deciding to self-produce the disc without […]

REVIEW: Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage [2010]

“Props to the nose” I don’t have any idea what made me buy Rush’s two-disc greatest hits Chronicles many years ago, but it definitely changed my outlook on music. Popping it in my CD player, the sound flooded over me, playing songs that either I had heard and never aligned with the band or just […]

REVIEW: The Runaways [2010]

“I want to hear you fun girls growl” Welcome to the coming out party for the new, adult Dakota Fanning. The movie may be called The Runaways, after the band for which it depicts, but this is most definitely the Cherie Currie story. When I first heard about the film beginning production, as well as […]

REVIEW: 9 Songs [2004]

“Now she’s gone and love burns inside me” Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. That pretty much epitomizes the film 9 Songs. Michael Winterbottom is a director that has never shied away from genre hopping or controversy, doing both with this explicit romance consisting of concert footage and sexual intercourse, with a little story thrown […]

REVIEW: Crazy Heart [2009]

“Funny how falling feels like flying, even for a little while” Life ain’t no place for the weary kind. Just ask Bad Blake. Here is a man that acts from the soul every step of the way, however, it’s one that has been ravaged and decimated from a life of alcoholism and chain-smoking. Able to […]

REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog [2009]

“Freedom takes green” Two-dimensional animation is back in the Mouse House, but for how long? The Princess and the Frog is the first hand drawn feature length to be released theatrically since a string of failures at the hands of Disney studios, before they bought Pixar and began distributing Studio Ghibli work. I have no […]

REVIEW: Nine [2009]

“Imagination is God’s garden” Being the film version of a Broadway musical based on the Fellini film 8 1/2, it interested me to find out what the title meant. The Italian director’s odd half integer was in regards to the fact that he made a few short films, so the work was its number in […]