Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Moody Blues Live at Ironstone, July 24, 2009 ****
Thoughtful, emotional, elegiac, yet always with a sense of humor and warmth which resonates through nearly every song in their repertoire, the 3 remaining members of the original band, augmented by 4 exceptional musicians including the star-in-waiting Norda Mullen filling in for departed member Ray Thomas put on a remarkable show tonight. Nothing new to promote except a DVD of a 1970 concert on the Isle of Wight, and no new material to try out, but their catalog is more than adequate to sustain a riveting 2 hour performance that ran the gamut from the near schmaltzy "The Day We Meet Again" to the iconic "Question". Maybe it's the fact that I have reached "a certain age" that I find the Moodies more and more compelling given their penchant for musing on the passage of time and the losses contained therein, but hearing them tear into their songs also is somehow reaffirming and uplifting. The lads may be paunchy and jowly, but they still love their music and their fans and life itself and seem intent on sharing that as long as they can.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Public Enemies (2009)****
Breaks new ground in the use of hi-definition digital video which brings a searing immediacy to the already exhilarating Dillinger story. Some beautiful camera work and design, well put together by Michael Mann. Leaves you with the question who was the bigger public enemy? Dillinger and his contemporaries, or the power-craving "G" men and their wire-taps and "enhanced" interrogation techniques?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Palin resigning as Alaska governor in surprise move - Yahoo!:
"In a rambling statement to the media, in which she took no questions, Palin, 45, indicated she wanted to extend her influence in U.S. politics and some analysts said she appeared to be laying the ground for a run at the presidency in 2012.

'We are not retreating, we are advancing in a different direction,' Palin said, employing the imprecise circumlocutions that characterize her public pronouncements. 'We know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time.'"

She "indicated she wanted to extend her influence in U.S. politics"? Um I think you have to HAVE influence before you try to extend it. At any rate she stayed true to form, taking no questions, which to her means picking on her. But I'm surprised that everyone seems to be at a loss to figure this out. Let me break it to you: she will have a talk show a la Limbaugh or Ingraham on Fox News or CNBC before the year is out.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Rapture (1991)****
With this film, writer/director Michael Tolkin basically says "Okay, let's take the re-borns at their word and assume that this whole end-of-the-world-rapture business is true, literally, and see what happens." And he proceeds to do that in an austere, intelligent, minimally manipulative way and takes the story right to the end and lets us make our own judgments about it. Mimi Rogers is exceptional in a unique and powerful film.