Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (2007)*
Suffers from the same problem as Lucinda Williams' latest: repetitive sameness. Same tempos, same subject matter. Even the best song on the record, "Impossible Germany" runs out of ideas halfway through its 6 minute run time and dissolves into a Steely Dan-ish instrumental. We are a far cry from "Summerteeth" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot". Very disappointing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Science of Sleep (2006)****
Charming, involving, inventive dream-state movie. Fine performances all around, but Alain Chabat nearly steals the picture. One of the saddest happy endings ever.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Marie Antoinette (2006)****
Kirsten Dunst delivers a tremendous performance as the last queen of France in this thoroughly entertaining, interesting, beautiful and touching film. We knew Sofia Coppola was particularly adept in her use of a soundtrack, but the framing and pacing of this film is indicative of a director at the height of her powers. A bold, risky and rewarding picture. This would make an interesting twin bill with The Queen.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Casino Royale (2006)**
Might have earned a third star if about 45-60 minutes were trimmed. This is WAY too long for the material. The producers apparently wanted to go the way of the Bourne series and sort of started that with the previous Bond film. This is a box office move and I think it will work. Although there is something to be said for a 90 minute comic-actioner along the Spy Who Loved Me line. It might be interesting to take a Daniel Craig and put him in a Roger Moore era production and see what that gets you.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Son Volt - The Search (2007)****
"Underground Dream" alone would force me to give at least a 3 star rating for this fine piece of work from Jay Farrar and company. Even better than their previous effort. More hooks, stronger melodies, more expansive sound, less "experimentation". Can they be surpassing Wilco?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sic Semper Tyrannis: Feltman as Dealbreaker?

"This deal over Lebanon was clearly at the expense of Syria in that a conviction might occur that would require party or parties unknown to be sacrificed in Damascus as well as Beirut. This worked for the negotiators. After all, it was a zero sum solution at the expense of the Syrians. This is comprehensible for them and for the Bush primitives. This should have 'worked.' An American envoy waited 'in the wings' while the talks were held. This envoy was briefed by the king when the deals were made and returned to the White House to explain. The result? The Palestinian deal is unacceptable to the Bush Administration. The Lebanon deal is unacceptable to the Bush Administration. (It gives something to the 'opposition.' Evidently, anything would be too much.)"

We desperately need leadership that understands the word "negotiate". Please. At the very least.