I’m sorry, but a Sam Peckinpah film with a happy ending is hardly a Sam Peckinpah film.
It’s been almost two years since I went up to New York for Mariah’s Comcast commercial shoot. Back then I was pretty optimistic about the direction her career was headed. It’s been pretty amazing to watch the balloon deflate.
I managed to get tickets to her recent Atlantic City show at the Borgata. The seats were amazing. The performance? Not so much. I think Helen summed it up best when she said her performance was more Atlantic City than it was Vegas, that it was more kitschy than cool. I’d say that was spot on.
After I read Jon Caramanica’s terrific review, I was looking forward to finally seeing her perform. Man, was I ever disappointed. It was a brutal combination of bad sound, bad dancers, and an overall lack of enthusiasm from Mariah, who seemed to just go through the motions. The backup singers (and backing track) were so loud I often couldn’t tell when she was singing and I feared that might have been done intentionally. Overall, it was just a lackluster performance by one of the few remaining superstars in music.
I know I’m late to the party, but what a fun documentary! I wish I could catch their show at the TLA next weekend.
Anvil! The Story of Anvil reminded me a bit of American Splendor, except Harvey Pekar’s tendency to accentuate the negative aspects of publicity are 180 degrees out of phase with Lips’ outlook. Who knows how far they’ll take it, but it’s great to see that they’re capitalizing on the film’s success and getting out on the road. It should be a great show!
Kent MacKenzie’s film The Exiles is like watching Germany Year Zero set in L.A. The film tells the story of a handful of Native Americans who’ve moved to Los Angeles. Like Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, also released by Milestone Films, it shows another Los Angeles, stripped of the glitz and glamor.
Think Cassavetes’ Shadows starring a cast of Native Americans who are struggling to find a way to fit into a society that’s locked them out. This isn’t a bunch of beatniks who feel themselves apart from the mainstream; this is a film about people who live parallel lives.
It’s amazing to see movies from this period shot in a neorealist style. Not only do you get a great sense of the characters in context, you get to see the city as it is. The streetscapes are as gritty as anything in a Hollywood noir. It’s an amazing glimpse into a world almost completely ignored in film. Definitely worth checking out.
Want a surefire way to bum yourself out on New Year’s Eve? Watch Food Inc.
I’ve scaled back the number of mind-numbingly depressing documentaries I’ve watched in the past few years. Too many of them tread the same territory, preach to the choir, and fall far short of informing the broader public of the issues at hand. Food Inc. isn’t one of them.
This is a great documentary for anyone who wants to get a basic understanding of what’s happening in American food policy. Let me put it this way: if Upton Sinclair wouldn’t have words to describe the state of the food industry. It’s that bad. I definitely recommend this flick. It’ll make you think twice about how and what you eat.