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
The Geneva Tapes
by Joe Viglione
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
, 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
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
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
, 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Compan
y releases London Has Fallen
Here's an interesting blog along the same lines
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
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
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
1949 Batman, Robert
the Caped Crusader (horror fans take note, Lowery was in The Mummy's
Revenge Of The Zombies,) and his predecessor Lewis Wilson, from the
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.
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.
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?
How could he so
ineptly put Ben Affleck into this mix?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.