Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Winter's Bone - B+

In theaters. Rated R, 110 minutes. Trailer.

Winter's Bone is a bleak rendering of a month in the life of a resourceful but hopeless 17 year old girl (Ree) living in poverty and meth in the Ozarks. Since her father has abandoned her and her two young siblings (not to mention her catatonic wife) to go cook meth with guys named Stump and Little Arthur, she is left to care and provide for the family. Trouble is, her dad put their homestead up as a bond to get out of jail before his latest trial and if he doesn't show up, they will lose the house. She sets out to find him and finds a whole lot of trouble instead. Click below for more on squirrel skinning and cutting off hands in a boat!:

Eschewing the traditional greek comedy or tragedy arcs, this film is more like a downward diagonal with a tiny jump back up at the end. From the opening frames, writer/director Debbie Granik (she adapted the novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell) overwhelms the screen with images of poverty and struggle. Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is smart but stuck without any way out. As she goes on a tense and fruitless search for her father, she runs into lots of scary characters and sad stories. Her uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes), proves a very interesting and tragic part of her life.

This film makes the viewer tense for the last 90 minutes, because you don't know what type of reaction she is going to get as she begins delving into different layers of criminal activity. The tension and the hopelessness are offset by the resolve and dignity of Ree and her fight for her family. The film highlights issues such as poverty, male sorriness, rural traditions and other meaty topics. The only positive adult role model in the film is a military recruiter - a refreshingly portrayal. Its possible this one will grow into an A- once I watch it on video, but I was too freaked out during the initial viewing to appreciate the nuance.

Expect an adapted screenplay nomination for Granik, a lead actress nomination for Lawrence and a supporting actor nod for Hawkes, who gives my favorite performance of the year so far. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's 2010 Sundance film festival.

Here's a must-read article about the making of the film and Granik's process.

Continue reading this post

Blue Velvet

The NY Times' A.O. Scott talks Blue Velvet here.

Continue reading this post

DVD and Blu-ray Releases 6/29/10

The Crazies - #
Don MacKay - #
Hot Tub Time Machine - #
Night Train to Munich
Percy Jackson & the Olympians - #
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage - #
Stolen - #
Warlords - #
When You're Strange - #
The White Ribbon - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases

Everlasting Moments
The Leopard (Criterion)
Predator - *

# - also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

Continue reading this post

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Box Office: 6/25-6/27/10

Adam Sandler and company got together for some laughs and scored big while Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz did OK in James Mangold's romantic-spy movie. Toy Story 3 held onto the top spot while Jonah Hex sank like a stone.


1. Toy Story 3: 59 mil / -47% / 227 mil
2. Grown Ups: 41 mil / NEW
3. Knight & Day: 20.5 mil / NEW / 28 mil
4. The Karate Kid: 15.4 mil / - 49% / 136 mil
5. The A-Team: 6 mil / -58% / 63 mil
6. Get Him to the Greek: 3 mil / -51% / 54 mil
7. Shrek 4: 2.9 mil / -49% / 229 mil
8. Prince of Persia: 2.8 mil / -50% / 86 mil
9. Killers: 2 mil / -60% / 44 mil
10. Jonah Hex: 1.6 mil / -70% / 9.1 mil

Continue reading this post

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Trailers.

1. The Social Network - Unflattering story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg - directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin.

2. Little Fockers - The third installment in the "Meet the..." series. Can't tell from the trailer how it will go, but at least Owen Wilson is in it reprising his "Kevin" from the original. Directed by About a Boy's Paul Weitz.

3. The Green Hornet - Penned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and directed by the hit or miss visual genius Michel Gondry. Looks like Black Sheep plus Spider Man.

Continue reading this post

Friday, June 25, 2010

Casino Jack and the United States of Money - C

In theaters. Rated R, 118 minutes. Trailer.

Directed by Alex Gibney, the acclaimed director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side, Casino Jack and the United States of Money tells the surprisingly boring story of infamous lobbyist and politico Jack Abramoff. As a political junkie and major fan of wonky documentaries, this was right in my wheelhouse, yet it barely kept me awake. Gibney starts with Abramoff's nerdy college Republican days (along with Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and Grover Norquist) and tracks his life and rise in DC all the way to his prison term. Click below for on CJ:

Abramoff is shown to be a great salesman with weak morals, but I didn't feel outrage like several people in the audience did. The most interesting interviews are with Neil Volz, former chief of staff for the convicted former Congressman Bob Ney. Ney took lots of money from Abramoff and his clients and basically sold his influence and got caught for it.

The film is sluggish throughout, and Gibney doesn't break ANY new ground or come up with any insights that a well-read person hasn't already realized. This might be more entertaining for someone that doesn't know as much about politics as I do or isn't as cynical as I am and thinks the political system isn't corrupted by money.


Side Note: Very weird separated at birth alert: Guillermo Del Toro and Grover Norquist:

Continue reading this post

Song of the Day - Like a Liar, The Orbans

Great moody and melodic song from the Fort Worth band sounds like a Priestly tune.

Continue reading this post

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Toy Story 3 - B+

In theaters. Rated G, 109 minutes. Trailer.

The Toy Story franchise is one of the best and most successful in cinematic history. Even so, I approached the third installment with caution (even Francis Ford Coppolla fumbled the ball in Godfather 3). TS3 finds all of our favorite plastic friends navigating their future as their kid, Andy, packs up for college. Will they go with him? In the trash? To the dump? To the attic? Soon enough they end up being donated to Sunnyside, a local daycare. At first the toys are excited to be played with and to meet their new friends, but they soon learn their new home is not what it seems. Click below for more TS3:

The resident Sunnyside toys appear to be very nice and accomodating, especially their leader, a huggable pink bear named Lotso. Then our group learns the truth about their fellow toys and works to escape their childcare prison. Along the way we see Andy (the toys' owner) head to college and several touching scenes with the toys and the humans.

To some, my B+ may seem like a low grade, but this installment is the worst of the 3, with the original garnering an A and the second a B+ to A-. I found the opening 45 minutes or so to be pretty pedestrian in both writing and story structure. The film soars during their escape from Sunnyside, with the argument with Lotso over the dumpster being my favorite scene of the year. The handholding scene involving the incinerator is very moving and shows the depth of emotion that can be conveyed in animation.

For parents, prepare to cry. I teared up instantly at the shaky videocamera images of the young Andy, and also at the end as Andy heads to college. This may rise to an A- if I see it again (which I'm sure my kids will insist upon). Not to be missed, especially for kids.

Continue reading this post

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DVD and Blu-ray Releases 6/22/10

Entourage: 6th Season - #
The Good Guy
Green Zone - #
Hung: 1st Season - #, *
The Last Station - #
Remember Me - #
Riverworld - #
She's Out of My League - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases.

The Bourne Trilogy - *
Close-Up (Criterion)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Red Desert (Criterion)
A Star is Born

# - also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

Continue reading this post

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Trailers

1. Somewhere - New dreamlike movie from writer/director Sofia Coppolla looks more like Lost in Translation than Marie Antoinette; can't wait.

2. Middle Men - Luke Wilson stars as the pioneer of internet porn. Could be good if the trailer is hiding depth.

3. Killer Inside Me - One of my most anticipated films of the year. Michael Winterbottom (Mighty Heart) directs Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba in this dark 1950's tale. This one isn't for everybody.

Continue reading this post

Weekend Box Office: 6/18-6/20/10


1. Toy Story 3: 111 mil / NEW
2. The Karate Kid: 28 mil / -49% / 106 mil
3. The A-Team: 13 mil / -57% / 49 mil
4. Get Him to the Greek: 5.7 mil / -43% / 47 mil
5. Shrek 4: 5.5 mil / -65% / 223 mil
6. Jonah Hex: 5.2 mil / NEW
7. Killers: 5 mil / -40% / 39 mil
8. Prince of Persia: 5 mil / -25% / 80 mil
9. Marmaduke: 2.7 mil / -55% / 36 mil
10. Sex & the City 2: 2.5 mil / -55% / 90 mil

Toy Story 3 opened huge. Pixar's previous biggest weekend was 70.4 mil for The Incredibles. Jonah Hex flopped big-time. Sorry, Bride, you might not have Megan Fox to kick around much longer. The above estimates are rough and might be adjusted at a later date. Have to catch a flight to the Rockies. Everyone have a good week.

Continue reading this post

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weird Year So Far

Must read article about the 2010 Oscar race at the halfway point.

Continue reading this post

Friday, June 18, 2010

Traffic - A

On DVD (2000). Rated R, 140 minutes. Trailer.

Whoa. I went way too long between viewings on this classic from Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. Emotional, intelligent, visually interesting, and even hilarious, this film was much better than I remembered. Part of it is that I am now the father of daughters, so the Michael Douglas storyline is much more resonant now. Don't forget about this film. Great performances from about 20 actors and probably the best direction of Soderbergh's career.

Continue reading this post

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs

Available this month on magazine stands is Rolling Stone's top 500 songs. Lists like these are obviously agenda-driven and are always wrong, but sometimes serve as a good starting point for a discussion. The list was compiled from a 2004 vote and new votes were done to include newer songs (although personally I feel there should be a 10 year moratorium for song inclusion - like the Library on Congress's Film List). Jay-Z is all over the newer songs and even wrote the forward before the article. He must own part of Rolling Stone now. The Beatles had 23 songs, The Rolling Stones -14, Bob Dylan -13, Elvis -11, U2 -8. Criminal oversights include Pearl Jam, "Behind Blue Eyes", "Idiot Wind", and "Tangerine".

1. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
2. Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
3. Imagine - John Lennon
4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5. Respect - Aretha Franklin
6. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
7. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
8. Hey Jude - The Beatles
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
10. What'd I Say - Ray Charles
11. My Generation - The Who
12. A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
13. Yesterday - The Beatles
14. Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan
15. London Calling - The Clash
16. I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
17. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix
18. Maybellene - Chuck Berry
19. Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
20. Let It Be - The Beatles
21. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
22. Be My Baby - The Ronettes
23. In My Life - The Beatles
24. People Get Ready - The Impressions
25. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
26. (Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
27. Layla - Derek And The Dominos
28. A Day In The Life - The Beatles
29. Help! - The Beatles
30. I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
31. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
32. Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones
33. River Deep - Mountain High - Ike And Tina Turner
34. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers
35. Light My Fire - The Doors
36. One - U2
37. No Woman - No Cry - Bob Marley And The Wailers
38. Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones
39. That'll Be The Day - Buddy Holly And The Crickets
40. Dancing In The Street - Martha And The Vandellas
41. The Weight - The Band
42. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
43. Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard
44. Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
45. Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
46. Heroes - David Bowie
47. All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
48. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon And Garfunkel
49. Hotel California - The Eagles
50. The Tracks Of My Tears - Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
51. The Message - Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
52. When Doves Cry - Prince
53. When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge
54. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
55. Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
56. Anarchy In The U.K. - The Sex Pistols
57. Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum
58. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
59. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
60. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
61. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On - Jerry Lee Lewis
62. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
63. For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
64. She Loves You - The Beatles
65. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
66. Redemption Song - Bob Marley And The Wailers
67. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
68. Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan
69. Crying - Roy Orbison
70. Walk On By - Dionne Warwick
71. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown
72. California Girls - The Beach Boys
73. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
74. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
75. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
76. Strawberry Fields Forever -The Beatles
77. Mystery Train - Elvis Presley
78. I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown
79. Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds
80. You Really Got Me - The Kinks
81. I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
82. Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino
83. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - The Beatles
84. Every Breath You Take - The Police
85. Crazy - Patsy Cline
86. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
87. Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash
88. My Girl - The Temptations
89. California Dreamin' - The Mamas And The Papas
90. In The Still Of The Nite - The Five Satins
91. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
92. Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones
93. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
94. Good Golly, Miss Molly - Little Richard
95. Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
96. Great Balls Of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
97. Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry
98. Love And Happiness - Al Green
99. Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
100. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
101. You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones
102. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix
103. Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps
104. Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
105. Living For The City - Stevie Wonder
106. The Boxer - Simon And Garfunkel
107. Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
108. Not Fade Away - Buddy Holly And The Crickets
109. Little Red Corvette - Prince
110. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
111. I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) - Otis Redding
112. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams
113. That's All Right - Elvis Presley
114. Up On The Roof - The Drifters.
115. You Send Me - Sam Cooke
116. Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones
117. Take Me To The River - Al Green
118. Crazy in Love - Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
119. Shout (Parts 1 And 2)] - The Isley Brothers
120. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
121. I Want You Back -The Jackson 5
122. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
123. House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals
124. It's A Man's Man's Man's World - James Brown
125. Jumpin' Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones
126. Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
127. Shake, Rattle & Roll - Big Joe Turner
128. Changes - David Bowie
129. Rock & Roll Music - Chuck Berry
130. Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf
131. Maggie May - Rod Stewart
132. With Or Without You - U2
133. Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley
134. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
135. In The Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
136. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles
137. Your Song - Elton John
138. Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
139. Family Affair - Sly And The Family Stone
140. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
141. Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
142. All I Have To Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers
143. Please, Please, Please - James Brown
144. Purple Rain - Prince
145. I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
146. Everyday People - Sly And The Family Stone
147. Rock Lobster - The B-52's
148. Me And Bobby Mcgee - Janis Joplin
149. Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
150. Cathy's Clown - The Everly Brothers
151. Eight Miles High - The Byrds
152. Earth Angel - The Penguins
153. Foxey Lady - Jimi Hendrix
154. A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles
155. Rave On - Buddy Holly And The Crickets
156. Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
157. The Sounds Of Silence - Simon And Garfunkel
158. I Only Have Eyes For You - The Flamingos
159. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley And His Comets
160. Moment of Surrender - U2
161. I'm Waiting For The Man - The Velvet Underground
162. Bring The Noise - Public Enemy
163. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
164. I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
165. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'connor
166. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
167. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
168. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
169. Papa Was A Rollin' Stone - The Temptations
170. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
171. Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
172. 99 Problems - Jay-Z
173. Dream On - Aerosmith
174. Dancing Queen - Abba
175. God Save The Queen - The Sex Pistols
176. Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones
177. I Fought The Law - The Bobby Fuller Four
178. Don't Worry Baby - The Beach Boys
179. Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
180. September Gurls - Big Star
181. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
182. Hey Ya! - Outkast
183. Green Onions - Booker T. And The Mg's
184. Save The Last Dance For Me - The Drifters
185. The Thrill Is Gone - B.B. King
186. Please Please Me - The Beatles
187. Desolation Row - Bob Dylan
188. Who'll Stop The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
189. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin
190. Back In Black - AC/DC
191. Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees
192. Knocking On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
193. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
194. Amy Winehouse - Rehab
195. Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
196. There Goes My Baby - The Drifters
197. Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
198. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
199. Maybe - The Chantels
200. Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
201. Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
202. Flash Light - Parliament
203. Loser - Beck
204. Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
205. Come Together - The Beatles
206. Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
207. Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
208. Lean On Me - Bill Withers
209. Reach Out - I'll Be There - The Four Tops
210. Bye Bye Love - The Everly Brothers
211. Gloria - Them
212. In My Room - The Beach Boys
213. 96 Tears - ? And The Mysterians
214. Caroline - No - The Beach Boys
215. 1999 - Prince
216. Rockin' In The Free World - Neil Young
217. Your Cheatin' Heart - Hank Williams
218. Do You Believe In Magic - The Lovin' Spoonful
219. Jolene - Dolly Parton
220. Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker
221. Spoonful - Howlin' Wolf
222. Walk Away Renee - The Left Banke
223. Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed
224. Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
225. Dance To The Music - Sly And The Family Stone
226. Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters
227. Fire And Rain - James Taylor
228. Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash
229. Good Times - Chic
230. Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters
231. Moondance - Van Morrison
232. Just Like A Woman - Bob Dylan
233. Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye
234. Only The Lonely - Roy Orbison
235. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - The Animals
236. Paper Planes - M.I.A.
237. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - The Byrds
238. Everyday - Buddy Holly And The Crickets
239. I Got A Woman - Ray Charles
240. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa And The Soul Sonic Force
241. I Fall To Pieces - Patsy Cline
242. Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
243. The Wanderer - Dion
244. Stand! - Sly And The Family Stone
245. Rocket Man - Elton John
246. Love Shack - The B-52's
247. Gimme Some Lovin' - The Spencer Davis Group
248. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher - Jackie Wilson
249. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
250. Hot Fun In The Summertime -Sly And The Family Stone
251. Rappers Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
251. Chain Of Fools - Aretha Franklin
253. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
254. Money Honey - The Drifters
255. Mack The Knife - Bobby Darin
256. All The Young Dudes - Mott The Hoople
257. Paranoid Android - Radiohead
258. Highway To Hell - AC/DC
259. Heart Of Glass - Blondie
260. Mississippi - Bob Dylan
261. Wild Thing - The Troggs
262. I Can See For Miles - The Who
263. Oh, What A Night - The Dells
264. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
265. Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
266. Ooo Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson
267. He's A Rebel - The Crystals
268. Sail Away - Randy Newman
269. Walking In The Rain - The Ronettes
270. Tighten Up - Archie Bell And The Drells
271. Personality Crisis - New York Dolls
272. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
273. Jesus Walks - Kanye West
274. Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers
275. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
276. Sloop John B - The Beach Boys
277. Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry
278. Something - The Beatles
279. Somebody To Love - Jefferson Airplane
280. Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
281. I'll Take You There - The Staple Singers
282. Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
283. Pictures Of You - The Cure
284. Chapel Of Love - The Dixie Cups
285. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
286. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
287. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
288. Help Me - Joni Mitchell
289. Call Me - Blondie
290. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding? - Elvis Costello And The Attractions
291. Smokestack Lightning - Howlin' Wolf
292. Summer Babe (Winter Version) - Pavement
293. Walk This Way - Run-DMC
294. Money (That's What I Want) - Barrett Strong
295. Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles
296. Stan - Eminem Featuring Dido
297. She's Not There - The Zombies
298. Train In Vain - The Clash
299. Tired Of Being Alone - Al Green
300. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
301. Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
302. Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley And The Wailers
303. Heart Of Gold - Neil Young
304. Sign 'O' The Times - Prince
305. One Way Or Another - Blondie
306. Like A Prayer - Madonna
307. One More Time - Daft Punk
308. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? - Rod Stewart
309. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain - Willie Nelson
310. Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones
311. With A Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles
312. Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud - James Brown
313. That's Entertainment - The Jam
314. Why Do Fools Fall In Love - Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers
315. Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson
316. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
317. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
318. Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
319. In Dreams - Roy Orbison
320. I Put A Spell On You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
321. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
322. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - The Animals
323. Alison - Elvis Costello
324. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
325. Many Rivers To Cross - Jimmy Cliff
326. School's Out - Alice Cooper
327. Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
328. Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin
329. Cortez The Killer - Neil Young
330. Fight The Power - Public Enemy
331. Dancing Barefoot - Patti Smith Group
332. Baby Love - The Supremes
333. Good Lovin' - The Young Rascals
334. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine - James Brown
335. For Your Precious Love - Jerry Butler And The Impressions
336. The End - The Doors
337. That's The Way Of The World - Earth, Wind And Fire
338. We Will Rock You - Queen
339. I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
340. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
341. Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum
342. Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
343. Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
344. Beat It - Michael Jackson
345. Beautiful Day - U2
346. Walk This Way - Aerosmith
347. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul Mccartney
348. You Keep Me Hangin' On - The Supremes
349. Baba O'Riley - The Who
350. The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
351. Runaround Sue - Dion
352. Jim Dandy - Lavern Baker
353. Piece Of My Heart - Big Brother And The Holding Company
354. La Bamba - Ritchie Valens
355. California Love - Dr. Dre And 2pac
356. Candle In The Wind - Elton John
357. That Lady (Part 1 And 2) - The Isley Brothers
358. Spanish Harlem - Ben E. King
359. The Loco-Motion - Little Eva
360. The Great Pretender - The Platters
361. All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
362. Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
363. Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello
364. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
365. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) - Eurythmics
366. Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix
367. Nowhere To Run - Martha And The Vandellas
368. Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters
369. Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack
370. All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
371. Complete Control - The Clash
372. The Letter - The Box Tops
373. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
374. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
375. How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees
376. White Room - Cream
377. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
378. I'm A Man - Bo Diddley
379. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
380. I Can't Explain - The Who
381. Marquee Moon - Television
382. Wonderful World - Sam Cooke
383. Brown Eyed Handsome Man - Chuck Berry
384. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 - Pink Floyd
385. Fake Plastic Trees -Radiohead
386. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
387. Hit The Road Jack - Ray Charles
388. Pride (In The Name Of Love) - U2
389. Radio Free Europe - R.E.M.
390. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
391. Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
392. Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
393. Whipping Post - The Allman Brothers Band
394. Ticket To Ride - The Beatles
395. Ohio - Crosby - Stills - Nash And Young
396. I Know You Got Soul - Eric B And Rakim
397. Tiny Dancer - Elton John
398. Roxanne - The Police
399. Just My Imagination - The Temptations
400. Baby I Need Your Loving - The Four Tops
401. Summer in the City - The Lovin' Spoonful
402. O-O-H Child - The Five Stairsteps
403. Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
404. Remember (Walkin' In The Sand) - The Shangri-Las
405. (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
406. Thirteen - Big Star
407. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
408. Enter Sandman - Metallica
409. Tonight's The Night - The Shirelles
410. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly & The Family Stone
411. C'mon Everybody - Eddie Cochran
412. Umbrella - Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
413. Visions Of Johanna - Bob Dylan
414. We've Only Just Begun - The Carpenters
415. In Bloom - Nirvana
416. Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
417. Monkey Gone To Heaven - Pixies
418. I Feel Love - Donna Summer
419. Ode To Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry
420. The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
421. Young Blood - The Coasters
422. I Can't Help Myself - The Four Tops
423. The Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
424. Juicy - The Notorious B.I.G.
425. Fuck tha Police - N.W.A.
426. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby - Stills And Nash
427. Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang - Dr. Dre
428. It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers
429. Piano Man - Billy Joel
430. Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley
431. William, It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths
432. American Idiot - Green Day
433. Tumbling Dice - The Rolling Stones
434. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple
435. New Year's Day - U2
436. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love - Solomon Burke
437. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais - The Clash
438. Ain't It A Shame - Fats Domino
439. Midnight Train To Georgia - Gladys Knight And The Pips
440. Ramble On - Led Zeppelin
441. Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
442. Alone Again Or - Love
443. Beast Of Burden - The Rolling Stones
444. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
445. I Wanna Be Your Dog - The Stooges
446. Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
447. Pink Houses - John Cougar Mellencamp
448. In Da Club - 50 Cent
449. Come Go With Me - The Del-Vikings
450. I Shot The Sheriff - Bob Marley And The Whailers
451. I Got You Babe - Sonny And Cher
452. Come As You Are - Nirvana
453. Pressure Drop - Toot And The Maytals
454. Leader Of The Pack - The Shangri-Las
455. Heroin - The Velvet Underground
456. Penny Lane - The Beatles
457. The Twist - Chubby Checker
458. Cupid - Sam Cooke
459. Paradise City - Guns N' Roses
460. My Sweet Lord - George Harrison
461. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - Ramones
462. All Apologies - Nirvana
463. Soul Man - Sam And Dave
464. Kiss - Prince
465. Rollin' Stone - Muddy Waters
466. Get Ur Freak On - Missy Elliott
467. Big Pimpin' Jay-Z Featuring UGK
468. Respect Yourself - The Staple Singers
469. Rain - The Beatles
470. Standing In The Shadows Of Love - The Four Tops
471. Surrender - Cheap Trick
472. Runaway - Del Shannon
473. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses
474. Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
475. Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes
476. Do Right Woman - Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin
477. How Soon is Now? - The Smiths
478. Last Nite - The Strokes
479. I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
480. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
481. Super Freak - Rick James
482. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
483. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
484. Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake
485. Lady Marmalade - Labelle
486. Young Americans - David Bowie
487. I'm Eighteen - Alice Cooper
488. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
489. Under The Boardwalk - The Drifters
490. Clocks - Coldplay
491. I Love Rock 'N Roll - Joan Jett
492. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
493. Time to Pretend - MGMT
494. Ignition (Remix) - R. Kelly
495. Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones
496. Running On Empty - Jackson Browne
497. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
498. Miss You - The Rolling Stones
499. Buddy Holly - Weezer
500. Shop Around - Smokey Robinson And The Miracles

2004 list is here.

Here are the songs they removed for all the new crap:

Da Doo Run Run - The Crystals
Lose Yourself - Eminem - !
Sh-Boom - The Chords
Band Of Gold - Freda Payne
Kicks - Paul Revere And The Raiders
I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly
Crossroads - Cream
Lola - The Kinks - !
Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly - Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels - !!

Keep A Knockin' - Little Richard
By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Glen Campbell
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
One Fine Day - The Chiffons
Search And Destroy - The Stooges
It's Too Late - Carole King
Free Man In Paris - Joni Mitchell
On The Road Again - Willie Nelson - !
One Nation Under A Groove - Funkadelic
Graceland - Paul Simon
Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win) - Fleetwood Mac
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals
Desperado - The Eagles
Rainy Night In Georgia - Brook Benton
The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy
More Than A Feeling - Boston - !

Continue reading this post

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More New Arcade Fire

Not that I'm a fan, but I know a bunch of you are. Click here for two more songs.

Continue reading this post

Monday, June 14, 2010

Holy Rollers C+

Playing in Film Festivals, Rated R, 89 Minutes

It’s hard to think of a better premise for a dramedy than the true story of Hasidic Jews from New York muling ecstacy into the U.S. from Amsterdam. Throw in the just-getting-hot Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, Zombieland) and Justin Bartha (The Hangover) as the leads, and it seems you’d have an indie filmmakers dream. Alas, director Kevin Asch largely squanders these gifts by playing the set-up heavy and straight, a cautionary tale for all (five?) of the Hasidic Jews studying to be rabbis that are tempted to trade in their side curls for bags of X and fake ID’s.

Sam Gold (Eisenberg) is the son of Orthodox Jews in New York studying to enter the ministry and in the process of entering into an arranged marriage. When the bride-to-be bolts, he’s convinced it’s because he doesn’t have the cash to woo her, making him perfect prey when his next door neighbor (Bartha) asks him if he wants to make a little dough importing needed pharmaceuticals from Europe. Although initially lied to, he gets over his qualms pretty quickly once the cash starts flowing and soon is lining up fresh Hasidic mules and hitting on his boss’s girlfriend even as his parents disown him. There’s surprisingly little new here, save for the opportunity to see inside the a little corner of Judaism few will ever know. That part rings true, while the rest of it, from the drug-fueled raves to the inevitably messy negotiations with dealers, seems like a mishmash of other B-movies. The plot is tied up nicely and in a pro-faith sort-of-way, which is somewhat refreshing I suppose. Eisenberg is good in his role, if not quite able to believably pull off the (very) rapid downward spiral of his character from pious Jew to drugged-out partier. In fairness, I’m not sure that’s his fault. Bartha is also fine as the too-confident drug middleman trying to make some money on the side. I can forgive Asch the recycled scenes and even the recycled plot, but the lack of laughs in movie who’s synopsis plays out like a set-up for a joke, that I cannot forgive. C+

Continue reading this post

Movie Futures

Now, here is a market I would be able to get into. There is a group very close to getting approval to start a 'movie futures market' that would let you invest in derivatives based on films and their box office gross. Article here. P.S. I'm back.

Continue reading this post

DVD and Blu-ray Releases 6/15/10

The Book of Eli - #
Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black
Unthinkable - #
When in Rome - #
Youth in Revolt - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases.

Flash Gordon
Mystery Train (Criterion)
The Stepfather

# - also on Blu-ray

Continue reading this post

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Special Relationship - B+


After the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, Tony Blair visited Washington DC to see how his Labour Party could similarly reverse over a decade of government conservative control in his home country. Following Clinton's election blueprint, Blair became the UK Prime Minister in 1997. Blair and Clinton liked each other immediately and successfully used each other domestically, diplomatically, and politically for the remainder of the Clinton presidency. Their triumphs included peace in Northern Ireland and a relatively peaceful solution in Kosovo. The rise of Blair and fall of Clinton (due to the Lewinsky affair) created an interesting dynamic. And the intelligence and political abilities of the 2 leaders made each fascinating both together and separately . . .

Michael Sheen is making a career by playing Tony Blair and is probably a bit better here than in The Queen since he's required to show a wider range of emotions. Some (like Darrell Hammond) have gotten Clinton's mannerisms better, but Dennis Quaid does an admirable job with the very familiar icon. More successful is Hope Davis who not only nails the voice of Hillary Clinton but portrays scorn and pain exceedingly well. The film serves as an informative refresher course of US and European history of the late 90s. The film spends a large amount of time revisiting the Lewinsky scandal and does a fairly good job at showing all sides and opinions.

Of course, the film takes some cheap shots at George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But Blair's lauded and applauded remarks about Milosevic could have just as easily been applied to Saddam Hussein. Screenwriter Peter Morgan uses the benefit of foreknowledge to make Clinton seem prescient, a similar stunt he performed in The Queen. But thankfully, he doesn't really overdo it on the politics. B+

Continue reading this post

Song of the Day - New Moon On Monday

By Duran Duran

One of their better songs before their surprising, short-lived comeback in the early 90s. Love how the vocal line stays on the same note at the beginning of the chorus, like its waiting for the instruments to catch up.

Continue reading this post

Weekend Box Office: 6/11-6/13/10

Nepotism in Hollywood is alive and flourishing - and so is the remake business. Anyone see Jackie Chan beat up some little kids? The A-Team did less well with its cast of 2009 hits (Taken, The Hangover, District 9).


1. The Karate Kid: 56 mil / NEW
2. The A-Team: 26 mil / NEW
3. Shrek 4: 16 mil / -38% / 210 mil
4. Get Him to the Greek: 10 mil / -43% / 36.5 mil
5. Killers: 8 mil / -48% / 30.7 mil
6. Prince of Persia: 6.6 mil / -53% / 72.3 mil
7. Marmaduke: 6 mil / -48% / 30.7 mil
8. Sex & the City 2: 5.5 mil / -55% / 85 mil
9. Iron Man 2: 4.6 mil / -43% / 299 mil
10. Splice: 2.9 mil / -61% / 13 mil
11. Robin Hood: 2.7 mil / -50% / 99.6 mil
12. Letters to Juliet: 1.6 mil / -46% / 47 mil

Continue reading this post

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Song of the Day - Panama

By Van Halen

Still living in 1984 this weekend at Doc's house. From their last David Lee Roth album (1984), this one has Eddie's guitar going nuts and Roth letting his single entendres fly. They were never as much fun with Sammy Hagar, who must be held responsible for ushering the cheesy hard rock ballad, although Van Halen's ballads are pretty good.

Continue reading this post

Friday, June 11, 2010

DeadCenter Film Festival/The Birth of Big Air

Wednesday evening last the Tenth Annual DeadCenter Film Festival kicked off in OKC with an outdoor showing of the documentary on BMX legend (and Edmond native) Mat Hoffman The Birth of Big Air. I was there with 2500 locals to watch the ESPN Films production’s Oklahoma premiere (it premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival, article from the New York Times here), along with a Q and A afterwards with producer Spike Jonze (!) and Mat himself. More on that following the review.

The documentary (B) ran 52 minutes, I’m sure cut to fit a one-hour time-slot on ESPN, and focused almost exclusively on Mat’s BMX career. While the doc itself was fairly by-the-numbers (archive footage, old photos, interviews with friends and competitors as well as with Mat) that did nothing to detract from Mat himself. A true innovator of BMX, he laid the blueprint for the riders making the big bucks today in the X-Games. He was the dominant biker for 10 years, winning his first amateur contest and seemingly winning every event thereafter. More than a story about a BMX great, though—admittedly a story with a limited audience—this film captures a man’s obsession and his greatness within a category he largely defined and which no one at the time cared about. While it seems foolish in a way to break your body (and, oh-my-word, the wrecks) for limited money and fame, there I is no Faustian-deal. He isn’t trading his body for wealth, he’s deciding what he wants to do with the machine he’s been given and is comfortable with the ramifications with those decisions, with no apparent bitterness towards those that are now making a killing in a sport he single-handedly kept alive.

As interesting as the film is the story behind it. Directed by Jeff Tremaine (Jackass) and produced by Johnny Knoxville and Spike Jonze (Adaptation), it is a project of love. Spike and Jeff were BMX’ers themselves and met Mat when they were all 15 or so in 1987. They traveled together across Europe doing shows, with Spike taking some of his earliest acclaimed photos of Mat’s riding. Knoxville met Mat in 1997 doing a bit for MTV. Mat was at the end of his dominance at that point, but still considered the greatest, and there was an immediate connection.

This relationship and love were evident in the Q and A following the film. Basically all the questions were aimed at Mat, not Spike, but when Jonze did get a question, he steered it back towards Mat and his exploits. At first that was frustrating for me, since Spike was who I really wanted to hear from, but soon it was refreshing to see an honest friendship. Spike seemed to get that this was something of a homecoming for Mat and one of the few times going forward that Mat would overshadow him at an event.

Jonze continued to impress afterwards, sticking around to talk to people and sign autographs (see picture above). When we approached there were only 6 to 8 people around, and he seemed honestly interested in conversing with them, even pausing after signing an autograph for us as if to see if there was anything we wanted to ask.

Continue reading this post

Song of the Day - When Doves Cry

By Prince

With the release of The A-Team and The Karate Kid remakes in theaters today, everybody is partying like it's 1984 (and not exactly in the Orwellian sense - yet). Prince's landmark 1984 album had lots of innovative musical combinations and ideas. The song that hold up the best is his ode to family dysfunction and troubled new love (lust?).

Continue reading this post

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Song of the Day - Funk #49

By The James Gang

Perfect 70s hillbilly rock with relaxed drums and lead guitar laying everything out. Joe Walsh later joined the overrated Eagles, but never seemed to recapture the fun.

Continue reading this post

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Song of the Day - Watching the Wheels

By John Lennon

Most prefer Imagine in Lennon's solo career, but I'll take this one - which doesn't seem as pretentious or intentionally provocative. John Lennon, the original slacker.

Continue reading this post

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Song of the Day - Train in Vain

By The Clash

An up-tempo, offbeat classic that bridged the punk 70s with the pop 80s. My favorite from the group.

You say you stand by your man
Tell me something I don't understand
You said you loved me and that's a fact
and then you left me, said you felt trapped

Well some things you can't explain away
But the heartache's in me till this day

You didn't you stand by me
No, not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

All the times
When we were close
I'll remember these things the most
I see all my dreams come tumbling down
I can't be happy without you round

So alone I keep the wolves at bay
and there is only one thing that I can say


You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me

Did you stand by me
No, not at all

Now I got a job
But it don't pay
I need new clothes
I need somewhere to stay
But without all of these things I can do
But without your love I won't make it through

But you don't understand my point of view
I suppose there's nothing I can do


You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me

Did you stand by me
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

Continue reading this post

Monday, June 7, 2010

DVD and Blu-ray Releases 6/8/10

Curb Your Enthusiasm: 7th Season - *
From Paris with Love - #
Nip/Tuck: 6th Season
Shutter Island - #, *

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases.

Caddyshack - *
Happy Together
The Illusionist

# - also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

Continue reading this post

Weekend Box Office: 6/4-6/6/10

The Russell Brand-Jonah Hill comedy placed highest of the 4 newcomers. Killers (Ashton Kutcher) and Splice (Adrien Brody) featured 2 of dlp's least favorite actors, but Splice is getting good reviews. And what happened to Owen Wilson's (Marmaduke's) career?


1. Shrek 4: 25 mil / -42% / 183 mil
2. Get Him to the Greek: 17 mil / NEW
3. Killers: 16 mil / NEW
4. Prince of Persia: 14 mil / -54% / 59 mil
5. Sex & the City 2: 13 mil / -59% / 73 mil
6. Marmaduke: 11 mil / NEW
7. Iron Man 2: 8 mil / -53% / 291 mil
8. Splice: 7.5 mil / NEW
9. Robin Hood: 5 mil / -51% / 94 mil
10. Letters to Juliet: 3 mil / -49% / 43 mil

Continue reading this post

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale

Premiering on HBO last night and rerun over the next month, this short documentary discusses John Cazale and his brief, brilliant career in the 1970s. The best interviews are with Al Pacino (his frequent acting partner) and Meryl Streep (his fiancee at the time of his death). The film is very moving toward the end as his untimely death is discussed. Also giving great interviews are more modern greats Philip Seymour Hoffman and Steve Buscemi who discuss his subtlety and vulnerability and their favorite scenes . . .

In his interview, Brett Ratner seems more like a frat-boy who's trying to fit in with the true artists, but since he's producing the film, I'll give him a pass. The excerpts from Cazale's films (The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter) are well chosen and discussed, but the real revelation is Cazale's acting process. He was primarily a stage actor and used those techniques for film. Unlike every other male actor ever, he didn't mind playing it weak or sensitive. None of his films would be nearly as good without him (especially Godfather 2 where he deserved an Oscar win). A must see for film fans, this is the quickest 39 minutes of the year. A-

Continue reading this post

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Del Toro Pulls out of The Hobbit

Guillermo del Toro, visionary director behind Pan's Labyrinth and the Hell Boy franchise, has pulled out of The Hobbit and its sequel. The decision apparently stems from MGM's inability to green light the starting of the films because of financial concerns, ironic since it would appear these films, basically sequels to the uber-successful Lord of the Rings trilogy were as sure a hit as you come by in Hollywod. More information here.

Continue reading this post