The Joe Vig Top 40

Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory... commentaries and essays expand the thought process on RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@] yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

 

February / March 2016 Sinatra; London Has Fallen, Batman v Superman, David Kubinec








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David Kubinec
The Geneva Tapes

AllMusic Review by  [-]

David Kubinec released Some Things Never Change in 1978, an album on A&M produced by John Cale that brought him to the attention of Velvet Underground fans, but had these lost tapes from Mainhorse Airline had that kind of major distribution, perhaps history would be different. The Geneva Tapes feature ten performances from vocalist/songwriter Kubinec who, along with drummer Bryson Graham, were found by a young keyboard player and future member of the Moody Blues and Yes, Patrick Moraz, and his bassist/cellist friend Jean Ristori. If it sounds like a minor supergroup, well, it is, as Bryson Graham went on to play with Spooky Tooth and Gary Wright, and Ristori became a mastering engineer of note, working with many of the bands this music reflects. The unique combination of these musical gents generated some compelling and heady sounds that turn out to be a tremendous find. Though labeled "progressive rock," the truth is that on these lost tapes from 1969/1970, Mainhorse Airline prove a wonderfully psychedelic/progressive band with some heavy pop leanings. "What the Government Can Do for You" seems cut right out of '60s San Franciscan rock while "Blunt Needles" recalls the Blues Magoos seeking out the heavier sounds of the Amboy Dukes. A Kubinec/Moraz composition, "The Passing Years," is heavily influenced by early Deep Purple by way of Procol Harum, but it's the colors of British psychedelia that prove the frosting which makes the mix most engaging. "Pale Sky" is a paradox in a bit of a quandary. It could be the U.K. Kaleidoscope, the Small Faces, or the Electric Prunes, a delightful combination of '60s psychedelia swirling through the speakers with an adventurous Moraz building eerie sounds that complement Kubinec's vocals perfectly, perhaps Eddie Pumer and Peter Daltrey's U.K. band Kaleidoscope influencing the music within, their Brit rock-psychedelia edge added to this experimental progressive concoction. The extensive liner notes from Louise Campbell in the 12-page booklet make for fun and informative reading, like how Dutch millionaire Sam Miesegaes helped both Mainhorse Airline and Supertramp get their careers in order. Meanwhile a composition like "Directions for Use" spins one, way while opening track "Overture & Beginners," dives off into another. Pat Moraz released an album after this, Mainhorse, while David Kubinec joined/formed Rats, the evolution worth noting. On Rats' First Long Play Record there's a shorter, three-minute version of the uplifting "Very Small Child" (this rendition clocks it at a minute-and-a-half longer), and both are worth giving the blindfold test to. Exotic and very different from "Make It the Way You Are," the material here was heading in absolutely the right direction. It's too bad they didn't continue the journey together. John Cale and David Kubinec should go back and re-mix the Some Things Never Change LP with these ideas in mind, especially considering the Strawberry Alarm Clock feel of "The Daybreak of Eternity." The music on that A&M disc from 1978 went unrealized, and these great Geneva Tapes point the way towards how that can be corrected.
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Sunday March 6, 2016


London Has Fallen

The worst option is to do nothing

Review to post

Sony/Columbia's White House Down was released on June 28, 2013 and on a budget of $150,000.00 it made only $205,366,737   worldwide.     Taking the US total of only 73, 104 and dividing it in half - $36,552 and the Foreign total of 132,263 with a forty percent take for the filmmakers - about 53 million - if we're generous and call it 90 million, Roland Emmerich's not-very-timely sequel to Olympus Has Fallen lost 60 m.  Including a massive advertising campaign, there ain't no way DVD, on demand, canle and broadcast rights are going to make up for that.
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March 20th, 2013 - only 3 months earlier - Antoine Fuqua directed Olympus Has Fallen
on a budget of 70 million, bringing in 161 million - 99 million in the U.S. (so take fifty percent of that, 49,500.00) and 62,100.00 overseas - 24,840 and you made a modestly profitable picture,
about  74 million and some change.   Four million bucks won't cover the advertising campaign, but maybe DVD/Blu ray, on demand, cable and broadcast tv will...eventually.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Has_Fallen

So now we have


There is something very un-sexy about Gerard Butler.  Can't put my finger on it but his presence doesn't have the same subdued magnetism of a Channing Tatum (White House Down,) and these Doomsday flicks are not very helpful in a world of terrorist threats.  Roland Emmerich's Independence Day (and the sequel's trailer aired before London Has Fallen - and it looks spectacular,) had flashes of 9/11 on Jeff Goldblum's computer

Some say that it was "Pre-preparing the publics' minds" for 9/11 - watch this short, 50 second,  eerie video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UNMlkUlbg0  which even has a TV3 styled "YOU BE THE JUDGE" thrown in to boot.
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More eerie stuff here - the Twin Towers themselves resembling the symbol 11.


"A wargame scenario that has to do with airline counter terrorism"
The Lone Gunman, an X-Files spinoff aired this March 4, 2011 - Scenario 12D,

six months prior to 9/11

"You're saying our government wants to commit a terrorist act against a domestic airline..."

"There ya go"


Creepy.  And that's what retired Lt. J.J.McLean said to me about the McGlynn Administration "There ya go."

The McGlynn Administration was participating in the terrorist attacks against my person using the TV3 monsters as his front.

Mow, without TV3, the criminals in the current Administration have thrown off the sheep skin and are just attacking this editor point blank, without the facade of a crackpot president and his juvenile delinquents running the asylum.

http://southeastasianews.org/articles/id4_911.html

Pre-preparing the publics' minds for a specific event that catalyses a massive shift in Governmental policy direction using films and documentary concepts is not a new thing. It is just much more advanced these days. Take for example Independence Day the movie. It most certainly was utilised as a tool for preparing the public for the 9-11 attacks when studied as a conceptual movie in retrospect of the event. As this article will further explore. 




MPAA Film #49180







A Comcast Company releases London Has Fallen
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Here's an interesting blog along the same lines

Sep 11, 2012


Never Forget [to make fun of it] 2012 Edition


I know, I know. I haven't updated. But at least I'm one to keep at least ONE tradition, and that is to make humorous attempts to explain what really happened to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on that fateful 11th of September, 2001.

It's been more than a decade now since it happened and apart from the disparities in the official reports and the poor attempts to justify their incessant self-contradiction and flat-out fairy tales, we know have one invisible dead body. The same invisible body that was supposedly once (invisibly) alive in the caves of Afghanistan.






BATMAN V. SUPERMAN

http://www.tmrzoo.com/2016/69588/movie-review-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Film review by Joe Viglione

On a 150 million dollar budget 2005’s Batman Begins hauled in $374,218.673 according to BoxofficeMojo.com’  It set the table for 2008’s The Dark Knight to bring in over one billion (4,558,444.00 but who’s counting?) on a budget of 185 million; The Dark Knight Rises at 250 m (that’s an additional 65 m) generated $1,084,939,099.   Around two and a half billion dollars and, with all the troubles DC Comics has had competing with Marvel/Disney, you trade in a spectacular Christian Bale for…Ben Hack-flick?

Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg so take the air out of an otherwise almost acceptable script that it insults the intelligence of every fan of comic books coming to life on the big screen.  So you’ve got the dude that played Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as master criminal Lex Luthor?   Gene Hackman’s slick, too-smart-for-his-own-good self-loving megalomaniac is replaced by a Joker wannabe.  You don’t feel the “genius” oozing out of Eisenberg, you are told what he is.  But his acting – as bad as it is – would be Oscar worthy compared to Affleck who is so out of his element it hurts.   Ben Affleck, a B actor at best, was ok as Daredevil. He actually made a fine Matt Murdock, DD’s alter-ego. But here Affleck is trying oh so hard to be what Christian Bale found came so easily.  Bruce Wayne, Batman, one and the same, the Jekyll and Hyde so perfectly brought to a character that had to keep pace with Heath Ledger’s stunning, awe-inspiring, head-turning body movements and mannerisms as the Joker in The Dark Knight.


So Warner Brothers simply cast whiner Ben Affleck as the Batman because he demanded it, and fandom went upside down.    As bad as Michael Keaton was as the Caped Crusader, director Tim Burton’s pal safe only because of Burton’s indulgences and Jack Nicholson overtaking the screen, and as pedestrian as Val Kilmer and George Clooney were, they didn’t get in the way.  Indeed, Kilmer and Clooney were on the merry-go-round that closed out Burton’s resurrection of the series, two captains on two different Batman Titanic vessels, both going down with a loud thud.  What this means, in plain English, is that Batman v Superman, Dawn of Injustice-to-the-Series, is not going to hold up to repeated viewings.   It embraces the flaws that permeated Avengers: Age of Ultron – a film saved by the chemistry of the Avengers, not the script.  The bogus monster that is created by Lex Luthor is just a DC version of Ultron, but not as lethal.

     This is a Superman sequel, got that?  This is the sequel to the Man of Steel as if the Batman trilogy did not happen, and that’s creating a hurdle before the film company even gets out of the gate.    

GO BACK TO THE ORIGINALS FOR INSPIRATION
      The 1949 Batman, Robert Lowery as the Caped Crusader (horror fans take note, Lowery was in The Mummy's Ghost and Revenge Of The Zombies,) and his predecessor Lewis Wilson, from the original 1943 Batman, hit the ground running. They, and Adam West, took the character seriously, despite script limitations all three actors had to deal with.    Had Adam West played in Tim Burton's Batman (and he wanted the role,) and Caesar Romero taken the Joker (which the late actor also is said to have wanted,) you would have had a diabolical classic, the doppelganger to the Batman camp film from the 1960s.

      Wilson, along with being the first Batman on screen, is also notable as the father of Michael G Wilson, born in 1942, the year before his daddy became Batman.  Michael G. Wilson has been part of the James Bond film series since 1972, according to Wikipedia, and more involved with the series starting with The Spy Who Loved Me, right up to the current film Spectre, due to his being stepson to Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli. 

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Now the math is simple.  You bring back the original Batman’s son to supervise the Batman series the way he and his half-sister, Barbara Broccoli, have been ultra-successful with the James Bond legacy.
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But –alas – where Spectre is an amazing action film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an over-hyped, expensive comic book with some decent scenery by director Zack Snyder, who still can’t seem to top his “300” film.  Oh Dawn of the Dead was OK, and what’s with his obsession with dawn, these days?  Twilight Series; Breaking Dawn, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, where is the “justice” to this “dawn of justice?”   It languishes in the thick morass of self-indulgence.  Snyder misfired with The Watchmen, and now he’s lined up to single-handedly direct the entire DC universe?
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How could he so ineptly put Ben Affleck into this mix?
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   In 2006 when X-Men director Bryan Singer took a whack at Superman Returns (poor Brandon Routh did a fine job, but got lost in the shuffle due to Singer’s own self-indulgences, in my opinion,) it was to resurrect the series from the “DC Syndrome” of having two decent films - Christopher Reeve’s first two Superman epics from 1978 and 1980 – and the two disasters that followed in 1983 and 1987.  The Michael Keaton Batman scenario played out in similar fashion with, as mentioned above, Keaton bailing and the series going to hell in a hand basket.  And Keaton sucked as well, just not as badly as Ben Affleck.
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So here we are with Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg letting the air out of the balloon that is a superb performance from Wonder Woman – Gal Gadot (of Fast and Furious fame,) and decent showings from Holly Hunter, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Layne (as Martha Kent, Clark’s mom,) and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. The odd man out is Jeremy Irons as Alfred, more appealing than Affleck in his role as Batman’s partner (what? No Robin?  You can hear Matt Damon on the phone screaming with Affleck right now, and what a disaster that would have been…) but still, a strange “Alfred” indeed.
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The problem is age-old: these film companies try to be cute when all they have to do is stick to the original comic book stories that we know and love, just do screenplays of the original comics, just as the Star Trek film series should have done sequel after sequel to the great stories on the original series. See Wrath of Khan for proof of how well that worked – and look at the remake of Wrath of Khan’s failure to see how shortsighted Hollywood has become.
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At 250m it is a bloated budget that needs the hype to save the day. The first weekend took in a big haul, but this movie, no matter how well it does financially, has put another dent in the Dark Knight’s armor.  What a pity.  Deadpool cost a mere 51m and is raking in the greenbacks. Batman v Superman’s rival, My Big Fat Greek Wedding II cost a mere 18m and may bring in a profit the first week it hits the theaters (being this week, of course.)  


      A little more creativity and less money spent blowing things up will do wonders for the future of comics in film.  But the casting director can pull a turkey out of the fire and the casting of Lex Luthor and Batman in this campy mess is so off the mark that it probably has the Marvel/Disney people opening the champagne and continuing their quest for world cinematic domination.

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http://toronto.virginradio.ca/Music/Album.aspx?id=21510

With a plethora of producers over the years -- including Martin Cooper, Al Capps, Stewart Levine, Rob Fraboni, Jim Ed Norman, Val Garay, and Jim Price -- it is this obscure album produced by the Velvet Underground's John Cale that captures a very special moment for Jennifer Warnes. A beautiful faded cover photo with the word "Jennifer" floating across the top, this album stands as landmark interpretation by the artist, and a production for Cale as important as his first album for the Modern Lovers. Don't expect the sound to be anything like the quagmire of Velvetsonics that Cale allowed the legendary members of Jonathan Richman's band to create. This is a pure pop album. "Needle and Thread" is a replica of what Motown producer Frank Wilson was doing exactly at this moment in time with the new Supremes, and "Be My Friend" is Diana Ross from this same period, by way of songwriter Paul Rodgers from Free. As A&R for Warner Bros., Cale explores avenues here unavailable to him when putting together A&M's David Kubinec album in 1979. Cale doing Motown is quite a revelation, and is equally impressive. Of the many recorded covers of Jimmy Webb's underground classic "P.F. Sloan," the one on Jennifer is arguably the best, but she goes a step further on the second "Webb" title included here -- "All My Love's Laughter" is outstanding. Jackson Browne's "These Days" has instrumentation that could have been culled off an early Marianne Faithfull album -- remember Browne contributed material to Nico's first solo outing, with heavy contributions from Cale as well. With only one original composition by Cale, a song titled "Empty Bottles," this recording is as much his showcase as it is Warnes', rich in both sincerity and performance, and not as avant garde as his later Nico recordings. As with her first album on Parrot where she covered the Bee Gees, Jennifer opens with Barry Gibb's "In the Morning," then closes by taking the grand sounds of Procol Harum and subduing them, giving the world a different "Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone." This would have to rate with Famous Blue Raincoat as Warnes' most substantial album -- but having had less attention, it is one of the hidden treasures of rock and should be sought out by fans of Cale as well as those of this enigmatic artist. These recordings of songs by Donovan Leitch, Webb, Free, Procol Harum, Cale, Gibb, Jackson Browne, and Warnes' own title, "Last Song," provide an insight -- not only to the talent of this gifted artist, but in flavoring those melodies in a way you have not heard them before.
Joe Viglione, Rovi

http://toronto.virginradio.ca/Music/Album.aspx?id=21510




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