Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Twilight Samurai

This poster is a little misleading: there is precious little blood in this quiet, moving film. Apparently the critics mistook Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat's understated acting as turgid and unemotional way back when "Crouching Tiger" landed on US soil. Not sure how this could have been said, as every gesture and glance spoke clearer love than I can even imagine, never mind endure..
"Twilight" has as powerful an emotional feel, in a slightly different period of time in history.
I'm betting the critics were too busy reading the subtitles to see the actors! A common complaint, "I want to watch movies not read 'em," apparently extends beyond the Kansas borders...
"Twilight Samurai" is the first part of a trilogy I have been hounded to watch for over a year now.
I was not fooled by the cover, and imagined a slow period drama sleeper, in spite of the stand up guy that recommended the film. I should have been more trusting, as this film is superb.
So you lean back, mumble a bit about my incoherent spoiler free reviews and think, well, he says it is a Samurai film without blood and has love at the core, so how could his original assertion that the film must be a boring period drama have been so wrong?
Alienation does not always mean tattoos and piercings or even that we are all storage cells for the hive mind!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

RIP Bernie Mac

As my sister once said, "Bernie Mac is one funny motherfucker."
"Kings of Comedy" was the movie we were discussing. Bernie Mac, bigger than life with a bigger heart. He will be missed -- and I don't like comedy. We could talk about his show, we could talk about the smartfellas trying to find a place for this very funny guy -- from his TV show to the "Transformers" and yeah "Charlie's Angels 2". That list should let you know just how hard they tried and failed to contain/showcase his talent.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Anthony Wilson "Adult Themes"

The nature of my day job is largely thankless. We replace electronics for the insurance industry, so are customers are not repeats, usually suspicious, and have just been ripped off by thieves -- not the best environment for fun. I am no longer a rep, but the IT guy. I do answer the phones once in awhile, and, as luck would have it, found a fellow Jazz listener.
I recommended Kip Hanrahan, he recommended Anthony Wilson. I ordered "Adult Themes" on his rec, and was delighted with what I heard. Anthony Wilson has put together a terrific album. I enjoyed it from the first listen, but took a couple more spins just because.
"Because", the Beatles tune, is one of the covers on this record, and it is very well done. It is nice to have a familiar melody deconstructed and exploded by guys at the top of their game, and this is a pretty solid cover.
The gem on this disc is the "Adult Themes" suite, which closes the record. It is done in several movements and really swings. This is big band music with intimacy and chops that hold up to repeated listenings. Like Mr Gold(thank you), I will have to recommend this one!